Year B: May 17, 2015
First Reading: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Horace and Morris and Delores auditioned for the school chorus, but Delores was not chosen to participate. In her disappointment, she sought other activities that she could join, but quickly realized that no matter how she tried to fit in somewhere else, her heart really wanted to be a part of the chorus. She wrote a letter to Moustro Provolone explaining her love for chorus and her desire to participate, only to be asked to join due to her beautiful poetry. Moustro Provolone recognized her talent in songwriting and her desire to be a teachable student and therefore invited her to join the chorus as they performed her original piece. This reading from Acts tells of Peter announcing the need for another apostle following Judas’ death. The apostle would be chosen from two proposed by the group after prayer that God would reveal who should be the replacement. The apostles, led by Peter, were certain that God had already chosen the heart of the person to take Judas’ place and they placed their trust in God for the decision. The story of Delores is similar to the choosing of Matthais because the gifts and talents and heart of the person were recognized, eventually, and they were both able to take their rightful place as participants in their respective goings-on.
Second Reading: 1 John 5:9-13
Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: “Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts.” (v. 10) Violet was born with a love of music and sought musical companions wherever she went as she grew. When other children were playing at the beach or painting in art class, Violet chose music. She often felt alone in her love of music because no one wanted to join her, but ultimately she found a band and her heart was happy. In finding her band, she also found a group that loved music just as much as she did. Music was in her heart and she never gave up on her passion, love and talent, even when the world may have suggested that she’d be alone with her music. Similarly, God has testified to us about eternal life and truth that we’ve received from God through Jesus, God’s son. This scripture tells us that what we have in our hearts, what we believe that God has given us, is the truth and the way to life. Violet found her truth through her love of music; it lived in her heart. God testified truth to God’s son, which Jesus passed onto humanity; it lives in our heart. Truth brings about happiness and living into the truth in our hearts brings life – musical, eternal and more. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (v. 13)
Gospel Reading: John 17:6-19
The Worrywarts by Pamela Duncan Edwards
(Written for ages 4-6)
Comment: Wombat woke up one day wanting to explore the world, so she asked Weasel and Woodchuck to join her. As they prepared their meals to take, and discussed what they hoped to encounter, they realized they had fears about what they might encounter in The World. Their fears caused them to prepare for the travels by bringing extra items in case they encountered unexpected animals and adventures. All of the extra preparation meant less time to explore The World, but they came upon adventures anyway. Womabt’s watermelon saved the group from the wasps, Weasel’s wieners and liverwurst protected them from a hungry wolf, and Woodchuck’s “W” volume of Webster’s Book of Words occupied the owl enough for them to be safe. Their adventure took a different turn from where they anticipated it might go, but their preparation allowed them to protect their group from new instances that might have proven scary. Christ is speaking in this passage to God about Christ’s followers and asking for protection and guarding over this beloved people. Sometimes protection from God doesn’t quite look like we expect it to look, and sometimes we can’t see it at all. Similarly the three friends exploring the world learned that while they were prepared to protect themselves, their preparation lead to protection of a different sort than they expected. Christ asked God to continue watching Christ’s people just as he had done himself while in our presence on Earth. The three friends sought care for themselves and each other; Christ seeks care for us. The friends protected one another; God protects and guides us. Often we don’t recognize it because it looks differently from what we expected, but we trust and openly receive the protection, guidance and sanctification that is offered on our behalf.
We welcome Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Katie Barrett Todd as our Links writer for the next four weeks.