Year C: March 31, 2012
First Reading: Isaiah 65:17-25
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
(Written for ages 13 and up)
Comment: New creation is the hope that we cling to, and the hope that shapes lives bent towards justice, even as we continue to live in a world filled with weeping and distress. At the end of the Hunger Games trilogy, readers cling to the hope that the change in Panem’s leadership will mean that the people of these stories, who have suffered greatly, shall no longer labor in vain, or bear children for calamity. When Katniss asks Plutarch if there will be another war, he responds, “not now… but collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction…” (Chapter 27) Plutarch has a point, if life is up to us alone, it doesn’t seem there’s much to hope for; yet we are a resurrection people, who gather not because we believe in our own power, but because we believe in God’s power. On this Easter Sunday, as we celebrate the resurrection, may we look for the ways we can take part in God’s restoration of our ailing world.
Second Reading: Acts 10:34-43
The Cherry Tree by Daisaku Ikeda
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “In Peter’s speech, the resurrection brings a new reality where Jew and Gentile as themselves contribute to a diverse witness to God’s mission in Christ… [The message of the resurrection] gives eternal hope… [and] also shakes the present world, bringing a new outlook.” (Fever, Kyle, Commentary on Acts 10:34-43, WorkingPreacher.org) This text helps us remember that Easter is a day to share and celebrate stories of hope, new life, and new outlooks. The Cherry Tree is a story of despair and hope, death and resurrection, and a celebration of new life. Through the tending of a seemingly dead tree, two children and an old man help their war-torn village come back to life. With this text and story, let us reflect on the ways God calls us to be changed by the resurrection.
Gospel Reading: John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-12
Turtle Spring by Deborah Turney Zagwÿn
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: Though the story of that first Easter morning may seem old hat to we who have heard it year after year, one can only imagine the shock and surprise that met those who thought they were simply visiting a grave. What must it have been like to have realized that their beloved teacher, whom they thought to be dead, was actually alive? A small reflection of this kind of joy can be found in the story Turtle Spring. For the duration of the winter, Clee believes her turtle has died. When Spring emerges and she is playing near the compost heap, she discovers it is actually alive. “She could not believe her eyes… it was the best surprise.” Wonder together what it would be like to be Clee, or one of Jesus’ disciples, and help the children of your church celebrate the joy and surprise of the resurrection.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.