Year C: June 9, 2019
First Reading: Acts 2:1-21
God’s Big, Big Church by Pamela Kennedy
(written for ages 2-8)
Comment: Pentecost is the Sunday we celebrate the Church. In Kennedy’s God’s Big, Big Church, children are shown that in different places around the world, people worship God in similar ways. From learning about God and God’s promises to reading the Bible; from praying together to giving gifts of money to spread God’s love. These commonalities reflect a common mission to love and serve God and each other. Most of all, the church is a place for all of God’s children. As the book says, “God’s big, big church has room enough for everyone. . .”
Second Reading: Genesis 11:1-9
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
(written for ages 3-6)
Comment: Gerald the giraffe lives in a jungle where all the animals gather to dance. Gerald, however, cannot get his long legs to dance in a way that the other animals don’t tease him. He leaves the dance floor with his long neck hanging low. It is when he meets a cricket that Gerald learns that he can dance when he dances to his own beat. The other animals are amazed at Gerald’s dancing and welcome him to the dance floor. The people in Genesis 11 aim to create a city and a name for themselves – a culture without God. God’s intervention is not because they are building a culture, but because God is against what John McClure calls “an oppressive, idolatrous, self-securing culture.” Instead, we should be building places where everyone is welcome, where no one is kept out, and everyone can dance to their own beat.
Third Reading: John 14:8-17 (25-27)
The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen
(written for ages 4-8)
Comment: When the circus ship crashes, all the circus animals swim to shore. At first, the residents in the neighborhood aren’t sure what to make of these animals. But when the tiger saves little Emma Rose from the fire in the shed, the neighbors see that the animals are kind. This kindness is repaid when Mr. Paine, the circus owner, comes looking for his animals. The neighbors hide the animals so that they are not harmed. In the same way, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the primary task for Christians is to love as Christ has loved. We are to carry on with the Kingdom work. We can do this because of the kindness, love, and mercy that Jesus has already shown us.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Semnary alumnus Jason C. Stanley for writing the Revised Common Lectionaary Links these past four weeks. Jason serves as Coordinator for Church Revitalization on the Elizabeth River District of the Virginia United Methodist Conference.