Year A: June 1, 2014
First Reading: Acts 1:6-14
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
(Written for ages 9-12)
Comment: Jesus ascended into heaven and his disciples were sad. They stood looking up to heaven. Two angels appeared and informed them that Jesus will return the same way they saw him go. Encouraged with hope, the disciples returned to Jerusalem and proclaimed the good news to all. In Island of the Blue Dolphins, hope keeps Karana alive. When the “white men’s” ship first came to the Island, all the people of Ghalas-at went aboard. Karana’s brother Ramo was not on the ship because he went back to get his fishing spear. Karana jumped off the moving ship to be with her brother. After her brother died, she was alone in the island. She made her own shelter and protected herself. She repaired a canoe, and made spears – something that only men do in Ghalas-at. Summers went and came. She gathered food, made clothes, and jewelry as she patiently waited for the ship to return. Karana’s hope to reunite with her people helped her to survive difficult situations. It is hope in tomorrow that sustains us today.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
Belly Up by Stuart Gibbs
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: Young Theodore Fitzroy sensed something was suspicious behind the death of Henry the Hippo. He began searching for clues to get closer to the killers, but that in fact landed him in trouble. He was threatened by the security officers at the zoo. Someone attempted to kill him. He and his parents were charged with murder and his parents were arrested. Teddy was on the run, but nothing would stop him from searching for truth. He did not care about suffering. He endured it. He continued to search until he found Henry the Hippo’s killers. Teddy’s perseverance paid off and his parents were freed. In this scripture lesson, the author encourages his readers to stand firm and endure suffering for truth. Suffering is temporary. It does not last long. Suffering is nothing compared to the love of God. Our gracious God will redeem us.
Gospel Reading: John 17:1-11
Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: This prayer in John highlights Jesus’ unconditional love for us. Jesus thought about us even in his final hour. He prayed that we may be brought closer to God. Jesus’ prayer teaches children to care for others. Princess Cecelia ,the youngest of the royal siblings ,and the mystical Castle Glower shared a special bond. Celie understood the Castle more than anyone. With the help of Castle Glower, Celie uncovers the mystery behind the news about the death of her parents and brother. Things take an unexpected turn when the suspicious “regency” takes control of Sleyne. Now that Castle Glower has been put to sleep by the evil Khelsh, Celie takes upon herself the responsibility of helping all the people escape safely out of the castle. Caring for others sometimes demands sacrifices. Celie finds that she is all alone in the hands of the intruders. Rather than succumbing to the evil designs of prince Khelsh of Vhervhine, Celie was willing to sacrifice her own life in order to save her family and the people of Sleyne. By reading Tuesdays at the Castle, children will become aware that they are not too young to care for others.
We are happy to welcome Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Mary Taneti as a Lectionary Links writer for the next five weeks. Mary currently serves as Children and Youth Ministries Coordinator at First Presbyterian Church, Goldsboro, NC.