Year A: April 10, 2011
First Reading: Ezekiel 37: 1-14
Fire! The Renewal of a Forest by Celia Godkin (Written for Ages 5-8)
Comment: As readers view a forest floor filled with the charred remains of trees, Godkin writes, “It looked like nothing would ever grow again.” As Ezekiel surveys the valley of dry bones, God asks, “Mortal, can these bones live?” Ezekiel answers, “O God, you know.” God does know—we have been created for life. These stories both tell the story of the new life that follows death. As we turn the page of the Fire!, and continue in our scripture reading, we see the vision of life in emerging seedlings and the breath that fills the newly connected bones. “This vision reminds every generation that God not only gives life but restores life, that death will not have the last word, even when all signs of life have been taken away” (Feasting on the Word, Year A, Volume 2, p123).
Second Reading: Romans 8:6-11
Savvy by Ingrid Law (Written for Ages 9-11)
Comment: Douglas Travis suggests that Lent is not simply a time of giving up, but also a time of self-discovery. When we read this text, “the true question is not, has the Christian received the Spirit, but rather, does the Christian seek to live her life consciously cooperating with the spirit who already indwells her? (Feasting on the Word, Year A, Volume 2, p. 135)” The book Savvy is also about self discovery, and how the members of one special family seek to live with the indwelling savvy that each develops at age 13. “Grandpa recounted stories… of cousins and aunts and nephews and nieces who had used their savvy to do good things, and of those who’d made a different choice—like Grandma Dollop’s youngest sister, Jubilee, who could open any lock… (Savvy, chapter 14)” Mibs Beaumont’s journey to understand and use her savvy for good is not so different from Christians seeking to understand the Spirit that dwells within each of us. In chapter 21, Momma explains that obscuring your savvy leads to a dull and unhappy life—likewise, if we obscure the Spirit within us, we find we aren’t really living. In the end, Mibs embraces her savvy and finds that her life is filled with peace and joy. We too are invited to embrace the Spirit within us, to live into the fullness of the people God created us to be, and to discover what it is to have life and peace.
Gospel Reading: John 11: 1-45
The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (Written for Ages 9-11)
Comment: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” What is it, to believe? As we follow Peter’s story in the Magician’s Elephant we are confronted with unbelievable events. Yet Peter believes. Peter believes that something miraculous can occur. A misplaced elephant can be returned home. A sister, once believed to be dead, can be found. DiCamillo weaves a tale of magic and dreams, but ultimately it is a tale of redemption. When he meets with the magician, Peter first thinks: “The world is broken and cannot be fixed.” Then, he sees the magician weeping, and says, “I believe. I believe that things can still be set right. (The Magician’s Elephant, Chapter 14)” As we draw closer to Easter, we come to understand that these stories of resurrection call us to believe that things can still be set right.
This week’s Lectionary Links was written by Noell Rathbun-Cook.