Year C: May 5, 2013
First Reading: Acts 16:9-15
My Great-Aunt Arizona by Gloria Houston
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: I love the opportunity to share stories of women in the bible with children. Though we don’t get a lot of information about Lydia, we know she was a worshiper of God who opened her home to Paul after she and her household were baptized. We can imagine that she held some influence in her community, and clearly touched the lives of those who were in her household. Great Aunt Arizona also touched the lives of people in her community as she taught, inspired, and cared for generations of children at Henson Creek. Use Lydia and Arizona’s stories as a springboard to help your congregation reflect on women in leadership that have a made a difference in your community.
Second Reading: Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5
The Red Bird by Astrid Lindgren
(Written for ages 8-12)
Comment: “And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God.” This year’s Easter texts from Revelation continue to inspire hope in a just and shining future, where God’s reign and light will be fully experienced. In times of great suffering, sometimes hope is the one thing that helps people to move forward in life. This is the experience of orphans Matthew and Anna. Their gray, joyless, hunger-filled life seems more than they can handle until they discover a door on the other side of the mountain. The door leads to the light-filled paradise of Sunnymead, where they experience love, joy, and full bellies. Experiencing Sunnymead helps Matthew and Anna move forward in their lives until they can finally settle there once and for all.
Gospel Reading: John 14:23-29
Kisses on the Wind by Lisa Moser
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” Even as he is preparing the disciples for his departure, Jesus gives them words of comfort. He will send them an advocate to remind them of all he has taught them. Through remembering and seeking to follow his teaching, the disciples will continue to feel Jesus with them, even though he has gone to be with the Father. Permanently saying good-bye to the people who love us and have helped shape us is a hard thing to do, but is eased through the comfort of memories. In Kisses on the Wind, Lydia must say goodbye to her grandmother, who will not travel with the family along the Oregon trail. Much as Jesus promises the Advocate, Lydia’s Grandma gives her a book filled with her stories. With Grandma’s stories, Lydia will remember her and the lessons she taught and they will be able to love one another from far away.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.