Year A: May 29, 2011
First Reading: Acts 17:22-31
In God’s Name by Sandy Sasso (Written for Ages 5-9) or
What is God’s Name? by Sandy Sasso (Written for Ages 2-4)
Comment: “…they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us.” A colleague preaching on this text was reminded of the story of the elephant and the blind men. Each describes the elephant as they experience him and though none of their descriptions are the same, they each describe a part of who the elephant is. Sandy Sasso’s books on God’s name have a similar approach to God. She explains how each person groping for God understands God related to his or her own life and needs. It is only at the end, when they come together, that the people can have a fuller understanding of God.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-22
At Your Baptism by Carrie Steenwyk (Written for Ages 3-6)
Comment: “[Baptism] now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ…” Baptism can be difficult to explain to children—we could use many more children’s books on the subject! In First Peter, we read that it is not about removing dirt, but about being the people God is calling us to be through our relationship to Christ. At Your Baptism is split into two story lines; the text at the top of each page is from the French Reformed liturgy for baptism, while the text at the bottom of each page seeks to describe the meaning of the liturgy above. The book focuses on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Steenwyk explains that Jesus helps us to see God’s love for us and for others. “When you think about your baptism, remember that God loves you. Remember that you are part of God’s worldwide family. No one can ever take these promises away from you!”
Gospel Reading: John 14:15-21
The Most Important Gift of All by David Conway (Written for Ages 5-9)
Comment: “They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” We know that Jesus commanded us to love God and one another. Interaction with families is generally the first opportunity a child has to follow Jesus’ command to love. In this context, young children explore what it means to be loved and to share love with one another. Ama discovers the multifaceted nature of love through “the warmth of her grandma’s smile, the caring hands of her pap, and the comforting arms of her mama.” Through Ama’s journey we are reminded that love is not only a commandment, it is also a gift.
This Lectionary Links post was written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Noell Rathbun.