Year A: June 8, 2014
First Reading: Numbers 11:24-30
Simple Gifts: A Shaker Hymn by Chris Raschka
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: In this passage, God gives Moses’s spirit to some elders so that they too could prophesy. Instead of being happy for Eldad and Medad for their gift of prophecy, some Israelites started complaining. They failed to recognize God’s gifts of freedom and providence. This text invites us to appreciate the different gifts that people have. Simple Gifts will help children understand and appreciate ordinary but special gifts present in each of them. Getting a cat, a bluebird, a rabbit, a turtle, and a bunch of flowers to dance together can be a difficult task. But when they learn to appreciate their individual gifts and work together, dancing becomes the most beautiful experience ever. Teachers can remind children of their friends at school or church community and tell them how gifts of every individual can enrich the whole community.
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
The Dragon Who Couldn’t Breathe Fire by Nicoletta Costa
(Written for ages–)
Comment: Paul invites the Christians in Corinth to identify their unique gifts and use them to build each other up. Our gifts do not make us more or less important than others. All our gifts are equally important as we receive these gifts from the same Spirit. The scripture lesson can be used to highlight to children that being different is okay. Like the little green dragon in Nicoletta Costa’s book The Dragon Who Couldn’t Breathe Fire, children sometimes want to imitate others. They are disappointed when they fail to replicate. The little green dragon was upset for not being able to breathe fire like other dragons. He left his home to find a solution. He soon realized that being different made him feel special. The little dragon used his gift to make others happy. He recognized that he did not need to breathe fire and that his parents and friends still loved him. Reading about Dragon’s experience would help children to appreciate their uniqueness. It also reminds them that they can use their gifts to help others.
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-23
Einstein’s Enormous Error by Sheila Walsh
(Written for ages 4-Up)
Comment: In this gospel passage, the risen Christ greeted his disciples with a message of peace. While commissioning them to make disciples, Jesus breathed on them the Holy Spirit. He commanded them to forgive each other just as God forgave them. The text invites us to forgive each other. In Sheila Walsh’s book Einstein’s Enormous Error, the “Great White Tiger”sends Einstein and his friends on a quest to find “The True Gnoo Kye!” The group depends on Einstein but he fails them just when they were about to finish their journey. Everyone blames others for their mistakes. Just then Lulu the flying horse reminds them the many times the “Great White Tiger” forgave their mistakes. Meanwhile, Einstein realizes his errors and asks his friends to forgive him. They not only forgive him but also recognize their own mistakes. Einstein and his friends are now at peace. They look ahead to continue their quest together. Like the disciples, Einstein and his friends were also on a journey but they must first learn to work together to fulfill their mission.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by alumna Mary Taneti, Children and Youth Ministries Coordinator at First Presbyterian Church, Goldsboro, NC.