Year A: May 28, 2017
First Reading: Acts 1:6-14
Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Despite Christ’s departure, there is no need, however, to speak of an “absentee Christology” in Acts. Though absent as a character from the narrative of Acts after chapter 1, the influence of Jesus throughout the rest of the narrative is profound.” Here, Mikeal Parsons emphasizes the power of Christ’s influence on the disciples, even after he was no longer with them. Beaty explores his own experience of this with his father, who was his primary caregiver until he was incarcerated. Although he was physically absent from Beaty’s life, his dreams for his son continued to influence and shape his son as he grew up. As you read this text and story, invite your congregation to share the stories of relationships that have profoundly influenced their spiritual growth and development.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
Superhero School by Aaron Reynolds
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: The testing and training that prepare God’s people to live fully into their callings might be disappointing or even worrisome. When Leonard goes to superhero school to refine his skills and train for his vocation as a superhero, he’s disappointed that the training isn’t what he expected. As time passes, he realizes the value of the lessons he’s learned and how they help him to be a better. Talk with your congregation about the training and testing that shape disciples in your church.
Gospel Reading: John 17:1-11
The Lines on Nana’s Face by Simona Ciraolo
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: In her commentary on this text, Karoline Lewis suggests John’s picture of incarnation shows us what it looks like to be in relationship with God. “At the end, the people in the pew should be able to feel, actually feel, what a relationship with God means. Let them taste it, smell it, hear it, see it.” This embodied, incarnational experience draws us more intimately into Jesus’ and God’s story. A young girl is drawn intimately into her Nana’s story by exploring the lines on her face. This text and story invite us into an embodied exploration of relationship with God and one another.
Thanks to Noell Rathbun, Minister of Children, Families and Liturgical Arts at Grace Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, for writing the Revised Common Lectionary Links for this Sunday,