Year A: April 6, 2014
First Reading: Ezekiel 37:1-14
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
(Written for ages 6-9)
Comment: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain that they may live.” (v9) The wind gives life. Ezekiel finds himself among the bones. He sees God cover these bones with sinew and flesh, but it is not until the wind blows breath into them that life is restored. William Kamkwamba encounters the life giving aspect of the wind in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. His village in Malawi was experiencing an extensive drought. People were starving and William had to drop out of school. After spending time in the library, William decides to build a windmill for electricity. He uses this electricity to pump water for the village and feed the village. For William, the wind brought life back to his village in Malawi.
Second Reading: Romans 8:6-11
Would You Rather be a Bullfrog? by Dr. Seuss
(Written for ages 2-5)
Comment: “Would you rather be a dog… or be a cat? It’s time for you to think about important things like that.” In Would You Rather be a Bullfrog, Dr. Seuss gives children the opportunity to choose one identity over the other. The passage from Romans does not give us as much flexibility and freedom. Paul is writing to a group of Christians who are struggling with their identity. He reminds them what it means to be a Christian, and what their identity is to look like. I can picture Paul, asking “Do you want to be a Christian or not?” Paul expects those who hear his words will choose to be a Christian.
Gospel Reading: John 11:1-45
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: The Gospel passage is one of the few places where we see both Jesus’ humanity and divinity working together. Jesus weeps with his friends over the death of Lazarus. Mary, Martha, the community and Jesus lament what is lost with Lazarus’ death, and in the next breath Jesus raises Lazarus. No matter what age, death is a difficult thing to experience. Everyone experiences it differently, and there is not one right way. Jess Aaron’s laments over the death of his friend Leslie Burke in Bridge to Terabithia. When he learns of her death, Jess struggles to believe it and must learn how to lament. It is in the community that he learns what it means to grieve. Jesus Weeps, Mary weeps, Martha weeps, Jess weeps and you and I weep.
The Lectionary Links this week are written by Elizabeth Boulware Landes, Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna and Director of Children’s Ministry at Faith Presbyterian Church, Aledo, TX.