Year A: May 22, 2011
First Reading: Acts 7:55-60
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt (Written for Ages 10+)
Comment: Standing up for what is right isn’t always the safe thing to do. Stephen was stoned to death because he spoke truthfully to the people about the ways they failed to keep the law. Rather than hear the truth, they chose to get rid of Stephen. In Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy is a grief-filled, yet hopeful story. Like the people Stephen is speaking to in the passage from Acts, the people of Phippsburg have created their own version of right and wrong. In Chapter 10, Turner and his father, Reverend Buckminster, stand up to the Sheriff for taking the people who live on Malaga Island to an Insane Asylum. There is a struggle between the men, the Reverend is pushed over a cliff, and eventually dies from his wounds. As the book ends, Turner and his mother extend grace and forgiveness similar to Stephen’s when they invite Deacon Hurd and his family to live with them.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 2:2-10
The Three Little Pigs a traditional fairy tale (Written for Ages 5-9)
Comment: “…like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house…” Each one of us is an important building material for the house of God. When one builds a house, literally or spiritually, one must consider the materials to be used. The three little pigs learned this lesson when the wolf blew down the straw and wood homes. What materials are our spiritual houses built of—are we straw, wood, or bricks? When there is huffing and puffing will we collapse or keep standing? A stone house, build on a strong foundation does not quickly crumble. The strength of the church comes from its foundation—Jesus, our cornerstone—and the living stones that make it into a house.
Gospel Reading: John 14:1-14
Under the Quilt of Night by Deborah Hopkinson (Written for Ages 5-9)
Comment: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” Jesus is telling his disciples, that if they know him, they know the way to God. Jesus is our guide, or map to the place he has prepared for us. In Under the Quilt of Night, the people seeking freedom from slavery also follow non-traditional maps and guides. When a woman hangs a quilt on the fence, the little girl reads it like a map. “I know what to look for: in most quilts, center squares are red for home and hearth. But these centers are a dark, deep blue. This house hides runaways!” The runaways use their maps and guides to know whom they can trust, and in doing so, find their way to freedom. By trusting in Christ, we too will find the way.
This lectionary links post was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary graduate Noell Rathbun.