Year B: April 5, 2015
First Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9
I am Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Gerald and Piggie in Mo Willem’s I am Invited to a Party! dream up what the party might be they are attending. Gerald decides it will be a fancy pool costume Party. Piggie has her doubts, but when they show up, the party is exactly what they imagine it will be. In our Old Testament reading for Easter Sunday, Isaiah is dreaming up what the future feast will look like. It will be a party for all, with all the best foods to eat and things to drink. On a day of big celebrations, many children will be able to connect with the picture Isaiah paints for us and may even be able to participate in imagining the feast.
Second Reading: Acts 10:34-43
Hurry Up and Slow Down by Layn Marlow
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: God shows no partiality. God is loving to the fast and the slow, the tall and short, the young and old. Peter is speaking to the early church and reminding them of this fact. As the church begins to incorporate gentiles and Jews into one community, tensions are building. Each group brings something unique to the community as a whole. Hare and Tortoise in Hurry Up and Slow Down, could not be more different. Hare likes to do everything fast and rush to the next thing, while Tortoise prefers to take his time and be deliberative about each aspect of his day. Despite their differences they are able to come together in community and enjoy spending time together.
Third Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Me I Am! by Jack Prelutsky illustrated by Christine Davenier
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: Paul writes to the Church of Corinth these words: “By the grace of God I am what I am.” (v10) Paul was created as a unique individual, with distinctive experiences. Each person in the Corinth community hearing these words is also a unique individual with distinctive experiences as is each person who will hear these words today. Prelutsky and Davenier do a wonderful job of drawing out each persons individuality in Me I Am! Paired with Prelustky’s simple rhyming text are Davenier’s illustrations highlighting the individuality of children. On a Sunday where the focus is on Jesus saving act for each individual, it is helpful for the children to hear they are who they are by the grace of God.
The First Easter by Lois Rock
(Written for ages 5-7)
Journey Easter Journey by Dandi Daley Mackall
(Written for ages 2-6)
Comment: Today we hear the story of the men and women who saw the empty tomb. This story is foundational to our faith, and most children (and adults) will never tire of hearing the story told. If you chose last week to use The First Easter and stopped reading when the stone was rolled over the tomb, I would suggest finishing the story. Both Gospel readings include the command to go and tell others that Jesus is alive. This is the good news and is to be shared with all. Journey Easter Journey connects the Easter story with the overall story of Jesus’ life and Jesus’ continued presences in the journey of the world. While Mackall does not cover all the details of the Easter Story, her simple rhyming text draws us into the life of Jesus and helps children see connectivity between Christmas and Easter. The final pages end with the inclusion of each person in the story, as we journey on to tell the world.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Elizabeth Boulware Landes, Director of Chilldren’s Ministry at Faith Presbyterian Church, Aledo, TX.