Year B: April 8, 2018
First Reading: Acts 4:32-35
Green Green, A Community Gardening Story by Marie Lamba and Baldev Lamba
(Written for ages 2 – 5)
Comment: In this text, the author writes of the early church, specifically of how early Christians shared their lives and possessions with one another. The text speaks of how all possessions were held in common among the early believers, and how the community worked to meet the needs of each person. Through the words and illustrations of Marie Lamba and Baldev Lamba’s Green Green, A Community Gardening Story, readers learn of the power of community through a shared garden. In poetic prose, readers follow a garden’s journey of growth from being a brown ground to a beautiful garden in a city. The pictures illustrate how this transformation was not the result of one person’s efforts, but rather resulted from many hands at work to “dig the ground.” As the city’s residents work together, the garden grows and blooms. This story provides an example of possibility for what can happen when a community works together. Like the early Christians, the individuals in this story worked together for the good of the whole community.
Second Reading: 1 John 1:1-2:2
This is Me: A Story of Who We Are and Where We Came From by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell
(Written for Ages 4 -8)
Comment: The writer of 1 John tells a story of identity and belonging to God. Based on what he has experienced, heard, seen, and touched, the writer’s identity is informed and truth is revealed. In experiencing the word of life, one has fellowship with God. In experiencing God as light, one is empowered to walk in the life. In experiencing the confession of sin, one is forgiven and able to forgive. The writer of 1 John has been moved by his experiences, and those experiences shape how he lives. In a similar way, a teacher tells the story of her family’s immigration in This is Me. After telling her class about the few possessions her great grandmother could bring on the journey, the teacher asks her students what items they would bring in their own suitcases. The next few pages are filled with the students’ varied responses, before the teacher responds, “This suitcase is like your own history book.” The story concludes with the teacher’s explanation of how one’s stories and experiences shape who they are, similar to the way that we, and the writer of 1 John, are shaped by the gospel.
Gospel Reading: John 20:19-31
Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz
(Written for ages 4 – 7)
Comment: Within the span of these few verses, Jesus repeats “Peace be with you” three times to his disciples. Readers of this text often cast Thomas as “Doubting Thomas” as he wants to see and feel Jesus’ wounds to make sure it is really him. Thomas sits in contrast to the other disciples, who were said to have been in the locked room when Jesus appeared to them. Despite the differences between these disciples’ experiences, Jesus proclaims his peace to each of them. The disciples are indeed unified by Christ’s peace among them. In Can You Say Peace?, Karen Katz highlights the experiences of children in different countries. On the left-hand pages, scenes of varying contexts fill the page, whereas on the right-hand pages, Katz writes the translation of how a child in a particular country says “peace.” Page after page illustrate how children across the world are unified through peace, like Jesus’ disciples, despite their differing contexts.
We welcome Rosy Robson as our Revised Common Lectionary Links writer for the next several weeks. Rosy is a final year student at Union Presbyterian Seminary from Black Mountain, NC, who will be receiving her Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Education in May 2018.