Year A: May 24, 2020
First Reading: Acts 1:6-14
Night Job by Karen Hesse
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: A little boy joins his father on Friday nights where his father works as a janitor at a local school. The boy helps his father do some of the chores necessary to keep the school clean, but also supports his father by reading aloud as his father sweeps the floor. On each soft-lit page, important work is being done, but what is clear is that the most important part of the work is in sharing it and being together in love.
The last time the disciples were with Jesus after the resurrection, they asked him the question that was most important to them: Will you now restore the Kingdom to Israel? Jesus told them that this was the business of God. He didn’t know. Rather than answer their question, he made them a promise: You will receive the Holy Spirit and all the power the Spirit brings. And, he gave them a job to do – be witnesses to all that Jesus did and keep sharing until the whole world knows about Jesus. The two men in white who were present after Jesus left them asks them why are they still there, implying there is important work to be done. The answer to their question became much less important than telling people about Jesus and sharing the work Christ has given us to do together.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Ruby finds herself accompanied by a Worry – a small yellow creature who starts small but begins to grow. The Worry takes over so much of her life – staring at her over her breakfast cereal, taking up half the space in the school bus, stopping her from doing the things she loved. The Worry becomes enormous. One day, Ruby sees a boy who seems sad and who has a small blue creature accompanying him. Ruby recognizes the boy’s Worry and asks him about what is on his mind. As he shares his Worry with Ruby, his begins to shrink. In finding support in each other, they share their worries which helps make them smaller.
Peter knows that the Christians to whom he is speaking have many worries. We know from history that the early church was persecuted. People were killed, taken from their homes, sold into slavery. Peter is living in this time and he offers God’s people encouragement in these hard times. Peter commands them to cast all their anxieties and worries on God because God cares for them. This suffering will come to an end and God will restore, support, strengthen, and establish them. Would these words encourage you if you were suffering or having trouble? What words would you remember and repeat to yourself?
Gospel Reading: John 17:1-11
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
(Written for ages 5-8)
Comment: What is the most important thing you would want someone to remember about you if you could no longer see them? Would it be that you were kind? That you were a hard worker? Jesus’ prayer today shows what is the most important thing to him: that his disciples then (and now) would know God through Christ’s life and ministry and that we participate in the love that God shares with us by living a life of love in our homes, our communities, our world. Jesus final words in this prayer are for us – – those that he loves – that we will be one in knowing and sharing the love and mercy that is the heart of God.
Mr. Hatch lives a lonely life, doing the same things day after day. One day, the mailman delivers a box of chocolates to which a card is attached saying, ‘you are loved’. Knowing that he is loved changes Mr. Hatch. He begins to greet his coworkers, creates a backyard gathering for neighborhood children with his freshly baked brownies and lemonade. He notices when the newspaper shop owner does feel well and offers to watch his stand so the shop owner can go to the doctor. His life is changed by the knowledge that he is loved and he is turn shares that love with others. There is a moment of sadness for Mr. Hatch when the mailman comes to tell him he has delivered the box of chocolates by mistake and Mr. Hatch is tempted to go back to his small, sad life. But that is stopped when all of those to whom Mr. Hatch had shown love throw him a party to show how much they love him in return. Sharing love transforms Mr. Hatch – and his community.
The Revised Common Lectionary Links this week were co-written by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumnae Virginia C Thomas and Ann Thomas Knox.