Year B: May 20, 2012
First Reading: Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
What Will You Be, Sara Mee? by Kate Aver Avraham
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: We use a variety of methods to try and discern what God is calling us to do with our lives. We see this in the church when we call new leaders to ministry. We see this in our personal lives when we pray for signs that we are on the right path. At Sara Mee’s Tol, Chong lays out items on the table waiting to see what his sister will be. In the reading from Acts, the disciples cast lots to determine who will join them. Though they differ, behind all practices that seek to determine future callings, there is faith that a guiding power greater than chance is in control.
Second Reading: 1 John 5:9-13
Wanda’s Roses by Pat Brisson
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: This passage speaks of both divine and human witness and the power of testimony for the community of believers. “In testimony, people speak truthfully about what they have experienced and seen, offering it to the community for the edification of all. The practice of testimony requires that there be witnesses to testify and others to receive and evaluate their testimony.” (http://www.practicingourfaith.org/testimony) In this text, we are encouraged that those who believe also experience the joy of new life in Christ. Wanda shares her own belief with her community, testifying that the empty lot will soon be filled with roses. Her belief stirs the members of the community to action and as the book ends, we find that Wanda’s testimony was true. Wanda celebrates the new life of the garden with joy.
Gospel Reading: John 17:6-19
Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth by Douglas Wood
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In the reading from John we hear Jesus praying for his disciples who will soon take over his ministry in the world. In this prayer, according to Carmelo Álvarez, Jesus is both modeling for his disciples how to pray and saying farewell. (Feasting on the Word, Year B, Volume 2, p. 544) The powerful image of learning to pray from a beloved teacher is also found in Wood’s story, where a grandad teaches his grandson about prayer. After grandad dies, the boy finds it difficult to pray and feel the world is dark. Eventually, he is able to pray and in doing so feels his grandfather near and the world somehow seems right.
This week’s Lectionary Links were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.