Year C, Christmas 2 and Epiphany
Dear Friends of Sermon-Stories,
I want to take this thoughtful time at the end of the year to give you all a BIG thank you for subscribing to the work I do each week. I do think of you as a community as I write. And as new subscriptions come in I am always grateful and amazed to see where everyone is from….across the world! I hope to find new ways we can stay connected in the ministry of building God’s realm in our world in 2016.
This week I have a wisdom tale for January 3rd. The scriptures this week have the theme of Wisdom running through them. Do you have any favorite stories about how wisdom came into the world? What story could you create from visions of the female figure of Wisdom in Sirach or the Wisdom of Solomon? Below is a favorite wisdom story of mine from the African storytelling tradition of Ananzi the Spider and another from the Missle East, “How to Sell Wisdom.” You will also find my favorite Epiphany story from the Italian folk tale tradition, the story of La Befana. And an Epiphany story from Arabia titled, “The Camel Who Carried the Tent.”
- Ananzi and the Wisdom of the World” http://quatr.us/africa/literature/anansiwisdom.htm
- “How to Sell Wisdom” The story of the mechant, Hodja and the emperor, Tamerlane http://www.storyfestjourneys.com/listen/middle-eastern-tales/islamic-tales-the-middle/how-to-sell-wisdom-middle.html
- The story from Italy is a folktale about the old woman, La Befana, who welcomes the Magi into her home to rest for awhile. They tell her about the child they are seeking and offer to take her with them. She refuses and says goodbye to them the next day. Then she has second thoughts and goes to find the Magi so she too can see the child. When she cannot find them she vows to continue her search for the child. Tradition has it she leaves a gift for every child this time of year just in case one of them is the Christ child.
- You can find several versions of the story on Amazon. Tomie DePaolo has a beautiful picture book version of the story. One book is available on Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GUO6OBO?keywords=befana&qid=1451266752&ref_=sr_1_3&sr=8-3
- Here are some other websites with the story and with activities to go with the story of La Befana:
- A story from the Middle East for Epiphany – “The Camel Who Carried the Tent”
Tomorrow my husband and I are off for eighteen days of travel in Italy for fun, spiritual pilgrimage and to connect with my oldest stepson who will meet us there. He is studying abroad in Ireland this year and traveling during is winter break. I have never been to Italy and look forward to spending Epiphany in Florence where I understand there is a big 12th night procession. I will look for La Befana! I plan to be posting just for fun on my Sermon Stories Facebook and Twitter. So check there to see what up!
In the meantime, please use the suggestions below to find stories for January 10th, 17th, and 24th. I will be back on line with a blog with more substantive reflection in time for sermon prep for January 31st.
- The website, ”Storypath” has postings up for children’s book suggestions for the Sundays through January 24th. They do a wonderful job pairing children’s books with particular lectionary texts. If you are not familiar with them they are definitely worth checking out! http://storypath.upsem.edu
- My storytelling mentor, Robert Bela Wilhelm, has a wealth of stories on his website, http://www.storyfestjourneys.com. I invite you to take time to simple browse and listen to several of his tales. Whatever strikes your fancy. You can also reach him with questions at the public Facebook page, Storyfest Journeys. Below are two of his stories that connect with January 10th and 17th
- I find Bob’s IBook books very useful collections of stories. You can find them on IBooks under his name and on his website. He has an entire collection for Year C. Look for videos of Bob telling his story under Robert Bela Wilhelm on YouTube.
Blessings my friends as you enter the new year! My prayers are for health, safety, abundance to share and peace for all of you. Let us pray for our world and hold it in God’s healing light!
Here’s to our 2016 story journeys,
©Jane Anne Ferguson, 2015. Text and photos to be reprinted with permission only.