Fifth Sunday of Easter
Year B: April 29, 2018
First Reading: Acts 8:26-40
Ask Me by Bernard Waber
(Written for ages 4-7)
Comment: In the dialogue between Phillip and the eunuch, questions abound! Phillip asks the eunuch if he understands what he is reading, and the eunuch asks Phillip about whom the prophet in the scripture was speaking of. Phillip’s answering of the eunuch’s questions illustrate a permission to be curious, and to ask questions. In Ask Me, a father and daughter walk through their neighborhood together. The little girl instructs her dad, “Ask me what I like.” Curiosity and the asking of questions guide their explorations in their neighborhood, as they learn more about each other and their neighborhood. What curiosities and questions are guiding your congregants on their faith journeys?
Second Reading: 1 John 4:7-21
Friendshape by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
(Written for ages 3-5)
Comment: Rectangle, Triangle, Square, and Circle are four friends who teach readers about the nature and value of friendship. From “Friends make you feel happy,” to “Friends play fair” and “Friends welcome others to join in,” Rosenthal celebrates the gift of friendship. The writer of 1 John reminds us that “God is love” and that “God lives in us” when we love one another. Loving one another involves more than just telling someone, “I love you.” We can love one another in different ways, and one such way is through friendship. Friendshape features the different ways that friends love one another. Invite congregants to explore the different ways that we can love one another and, thus, abide in God.
Gospel Reading: John 15:1-8
Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: Jesus’ words in this text remind us that we are all connected to God and one another. God created us to be in community with one another, and Jesus uses the vine and branches metaphor to explain how that community is manifested. We, the branches, are connected to one another, through Jesus, the true vine. In Because Amelia Smiled, David Ezra Stein tells a story of connection. A young girl smiles and sets off a chain reaction of goodwill that travels all across the world. Amelia is connected to the woman who saw her from the window, and was in turn inspired to send cookies to her grandson… and the goodwill continues from person to person, connecting them to one another along the way. How are your congregants connected to one another?
Thanks to current Union Presbyterian Seminary student Rosy Robson for writing this week’s Revised Common Lectionary Links.