Year A: May 4, 2014
First Reading: Acts 2:14a; 36-41
Down by the Cool of the Pool by Tony Mitton
(Written for ages 3 and up)
Comment: Again this week, the Lectionary places us in the midst of Pentecost. We hear how those who heard Peter’s speech and call to baptism responded. Can you picture the scene? Three thousand of those gathered being baptized. I would expect that this did not necessarily happen decently and in order. In Down by the Cool of the Pool, Frog begins a dance party. His excitement of the day gets him dancing and one by one the animals join in the dance with the move they do best. They all get caught up in their joy and excitement and splash into the water. This is the scene I picture that day. Three thousand people are swarming Peter to join in the eternal life Jesus offers. The joy and excitement of this choice ends in everyone being baptized as well as a few bumps and bruises.
Second Reading: 1 Peter 1:17-23
The Garden of Happiness by Erika Tamar
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: First Peter reminds us of the inheritance we will receive since we have been born anew. Our trust in God leads us to a life marked by mutual love. First Peter goes on to reminds us that we are imperishable. “You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God. “ (verse 23) The idea of something being imperishable is a difficult concept to understand. As winter comes, we talk about nature with the language of death, despite most of nature being in a dormant state. The Garden of Happiness illustrates one way a seed can be imperishable. A neighborhood in New York City comes together to turn an empty lot into a community garden. Marisol finds a tiny spot in which she can plant one seed in the garden. Marisol tends her seed with care and attention and is filled with awe and amazement as the seed grows and blooms. But like all flowers there is a time that comes when the petals fall and it dies. At this moment Marisol is overcome with grief, and struggles to even walk by what used to be the community garden. Marisol is surprised to find her flowers painted on a wall. These are now imperishable flowers that will continue to bring awe and amazement to all throughout the seasons. Like Marisol’s flower we will fade away, but with our faith and hope in Jesus Christ we can inherit eternal life.
Gospel Reading: Luke 24:13-35
Catching Kisses by Amy Gibson
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: The disciples on the road to Emmaus are discussing the events of the past weekend with a sense of disbelief. They know the facts, but are struggling to accept them. Shannon Michael Pater writes “They have heard that it is ‘Easter’ from the women at tomb, but as of yet, they do not know it in the marrow of their soul” (Feasting on the Word. Year A vol 2, pg 418). Once Jesus breaks bread with them, they are able to let the story sink into their being; but once it does, there is no turning back. The Easter story becomes a part of them. Sometimes we keep ourselves at a distance to the story. We listen to the story, and participate in the celebrations, but we do not allow it to sink into our being. We don’t reach out and catch the story. Amy Gibson, in Catching Kisses, writes about the kisses being blown around the world waiting to be caught. She writes, “And once a kiss is given, anytime, anywhere. It can never be taken away. It’s yours.” Once we catch the Easter story and let it sink into our being there is no turning back. It is our story. It is a part of us. It is something we know “in the marrow of our soul.”
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.