Year A: May 21, 2017
First Reading: Acts 17:22-31
The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “…they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us.” God’s presence, which is all around us, is revealed to us in unexpected ways. In Martin’s tale, the invisible being is one whom all the women wish to marry, but no one has ever seen. The Rough-Face Girl sees in unconventional ways, and recognizes his presence everywhere around her. If we are to recognize God in the world, we must also be open to unconventional ways of seeing. As you reflect upon this text and story, invite your congregation to share the ways they’ve have witnessed and come to know God.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22
The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated…” A discussion about the way our fears do or do not interfere with us living into our baptismal identity is a good way to approach this text with children. Chris is afraid of the dark, yet has an innate desire to be an astronaut. Overcoming, and even embracing his fears allowed him to live fully into the person he was created to be. As you read this text and story, wonder together with the children of your church about their fears and how they work through them.
Gospel Reading: John 14:15-21
It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: To follow Christ’s commandment of love, we must first be grounded in our own identity as beloved. When we know the fullness of our belovedness, it spills out of us, and the Spirit helps us to share our love. The mailbox in Clanton’s story makes me think of the Spirit and this notion of love. Liam is overwhelmed with the gifts his mailbox sends him; in realizing the richness he has been given, he seek’s the mailbox’s help in sharing this abundance with others. When reading this text and story it is good to be reminded that we can’t keep God’s love to ourselves, but are called to share the abundance of love with neighbors near and far.
Thanks to Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna and regular contributor Noell Rathbun for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links this week.