Year A: April 12, 2020
First Reading: Acts 10:34-43
Mooshka, A Quilt Story by Julie Paschkis
(Written for ages 4 – 8)
Comment: Karla has an unusual quilt she named Mooshka. It had been sewn by her grandmother with scraps of fabric that she called schnitz as she told Karla the stories of her life. Mooshka was an unusual quilt because it talked to Karla. Each schnitz spoke to Karla in a different voice – soft, sturdy cheerful – depending on the story that her grandmother had told when she was sewing that particular piece. When Karla couldn’t sleep, she would put her hand on a schnitz and hear its story. One day, Karla’s new little sister Hannah comes home. Now Mooshka no longer speaks to Karla. One night as Hannah is crying, Karla covers Hannah with Mooshka. Because Mooshka is no longer speaking, Karla begins to tell the stories. Hannah quietens and Karla goes on and on, sharing the stories that have been so important to her. Karla is a witness to Hannah of the important stories of their family life. Mooshka was the means by which Karla remembered the stories, but it was Karla who had to share them with Hannah.
Jesus had promised his disciples that they would be witnesses, that they would tell others about his resurrection. The scripture we read today is an example of a disciple, Peter, witnessing to what God has done through Jesus. Peter is surprised that this is an opportunity to witness because these are Gentiles. He had thought that he was supposed to witness to Jews. But the news was too good to be just for Jews. God had worked John the Baptist, anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit so that he went about doing good, how he was crucified but God raised him from death. And everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness through his name. We have received the same call to witness. What would you say? How would you tell what God has done through Jesus.
Second Reading: Colossians 3:1-4
Hope Springs by Eric Walters
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: You have been raised with Christ, so you will be looking for different things, what Paul calls “things that are above.” Belonging to Christ means that you have died with Christ, your life is hidden in Christ in God and that some day you will be revealed with him in glory. Whatever else these mysterious words mean they tell us that living with Christ means a different kind of life. We have, in a way, been raised with him to new life. We’re not looking for our own way, not trying to get more money or things, not acting in ways that will hurt other people. What things that are above can you set your mind on?
Boniface lives at an orphanage in Kenya. Kenya is in the middle of a bad drought and villagers near the orphanage are full of fear about whether they will have enough water. This makes them unwilling to share their water with the children at Boniface’s orphanage. When a well is finally completed for the orphanage, Boniface takes the leftover tools and decides to help dig a new well for the people in the village who had been afraid to share their resources with him and his friends. Boniface’s willingness to seek the good of those who had sought to hurt him and his friends is a good example of living a life like Christ lived.
He Is Risen: Rocks Tell the Story of Easter by Patti Rokus
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed. Alleluia! On this Easter Sunday when we rejoice in God’s power and love that cannot be contained by fear, hatred or death – or anything else in all creation – Rokus’ book can again be used even if it was used on Palm Sunday. The pages after Jesus is buried in the tomb are taken from Matthew, Luke, John and Acts but can be used to tell the joyful story of Easter whether you use the Matthew or John passages from the Revised Common Lectionary for today.
If you want to use a different book, you might to choose ” ” from Nikki Grime’s At Jeruslem’s Gate. We have recommended this book before but we have never used it for the texts on Easter. The book contains a variety of poems about Jesus’ last week on earth told from the perspective of those who were with him. (Several of the poems could be used on Palm Sunday as well.)
The Revised Common Lectionary Links this week are co-written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnae Virginia C. Thomas and Ann Thomas Knox.