Year C: May 19, 2013
Pentecost Reading: Acts 2:1-21
Say Hello by Rachel Isadora
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: “Amazed and astonished, they asked, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?’” How overwhelming and incredible it must have been for the multicultural crowd to gather and hear the good news being shared in their own languages! On Pentecost, we are reminded that the Spirit weaves us together, regardless of our race, class, gender, age, or nationality. This is a day to celebrate our connectedness as we hear many languages spoken aloud. Say Hello follows Carmelita as she walks through her multicultural neighborhood, greeting friends and neighbors in their native languages. As you read this story alongside the Pentecost text, invite your congregation to experience the power of connection that exists beyond language barriers.
Additional suggestions for this text may be found in our posts from Year A.
First Reading: Genesis 11:1-9
We by Alice Schertle
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: In his commentary on this text, Ralph W. Klein offers an alternative interpretation that differs from the traditional focus on human arrogance and God’s punishment. He suggests that God’s scattering of the people is not due to punishment, but to a desire for cultural diversity. “The story embraces cultural solidarity and cultural difference and acknowledges the value of both.” (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 3, p 7) We follows humanity from its origins in Africa to its expansion throughout the world, acknowledging our common beginnings as well as our cultural diversity. Use this story to help the children of your church explore what it might look like for God to scatter the people abroad over the face of all the earth.
Second Reading: Romans 8:14-17
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: “…you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” This text invites us to reflect on what it means to be children of God. Some of the children in your church may be adopted or know someone who has been adopted. Talk together about the way they understand adoption. How is being adopted by God related to other kinds of adoption? We Belong Together explores different types of adoptive families and what brought them together. The book emphasizes that adoption is something that occurs when people belong together and are rooted in love. This is also what it means to be children of God. God adopts us because we belong to God and God loves us.
Gospel Reading: John 14:8-17, (25-27)
The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: The disciples express anxieties that are quite typical of those who worry about permanent separation. In promising the Advocate, Jesus is responding to their need for something concrete to hold, be guided by, and find comfort in. With the presence of the Spirit, their anxieties will not paralyze them from continuing the work of Christ. The Spirit provides peace, comfort, and guidance, helping us to remember Jesus is with us, even though we can’t see him. The Keeping Quilt helps a family remember they are with one another. Despite the distance across oceans and the separation of death, the quilt binds the generations of a family together through love and memories. When Anna’s mother makes the quilt from different family members’ clothing, she says, “It will be like having the family in backhome Russia dance around us at night.” Today is a day for dancing with the Spirit. May our Pentecost celebrations help us to see the way we are connected to Christ and the disciples of the church throughout time.
This week’s Lectionary Links are written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.