Year B: April 26, 2015
First Reading: Acts 4:5-12
Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don’t) by Barbara Bottner
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: When questioned by authorities, Peter responds that he and John were empowered by the name of Jesus to enact “a good deed done to someone who was sick.” As a teacher, Jesus taught his followers to care for others and through his name they continue his work of healing. In the library, Miss Brooks inspires her students (even the stubborn ones!) to love books. Teachers have the power to transform lives. With this text and story, invite your congregants to share lessons they’ve learned from Jesus, as well as stories of teachers who’ve transformed their lives.
Second Reading: 1 John 3:16-24
Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf by Olivia Bouler
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” Sometimes we think there isn’t much that children can actually do to enact change in the world. We dismiss their abilities, believing that being an adult is required to truly make a difference. Olivia Bouler proves that this understanding of children is far from the truth, that the actions of children can hold great power. This book shares her story of creating art to raise money for Audubon’s Gulf Oil Spill recovery efforts. The book also gives children ideas of actions they can take to love and care for the environment. Inspired by Olivia’s story, invite your congregation to consider the ways God is calling them to love in truth and action.
Gospel Reading: John 10:11-18
The Paper Dragon by Marguerite W. Davol
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me…” When we hear the good shepherd and the hired hand described in the text, we understand that it is love that moves the good shepherd to lay down his life. A similar self sacrificial action occurs when Mi Fei journeys to confront the terrible dragon Sui Jen. Ultimately it is the love of his fellow villagers that saves Mi Fei and the village from being destroyed. Use this text and story to celebrate God’s love, considering this suggestion from David Lose, President of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia: “Jesus’ message of love needs to be said again and again… invite each person to turn to another and say these simple words, ‘You are a beloved child of God, and you are enough.’” (http://www.workingpreacher.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Noell Rathbun-Cook.