Year B: May 6, 2012
First Reading: Acts 8:26-40
Metropolitan Cow by Tim Egan
(Written for ages 4-8)
Comment: Barbara Brown Taylor refers to this text as a story of “radical inclusion that will characterize the early church community.” (Feasting on the Word, Year B, Volume 2, p. 255) How does a message of radical inclusion pertain to the church today? Who are the people we exclude? Metropolitan Cow is a story of a young cow who helps his family overcome their prejudice against pigs. As the story ends, the pigs and cows begin to see how much alike they are. Through the lens and movement of the Spirit, may we open our doors to those we label as different, and embrace the likeness we share in Christ.
Preachers choosing to focus specifically on the eunuch’s sexuality, race, or foreignness, may find one of the following books helpful:
In Our Mothers’ House by Patricia Polacco
Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
Second Reading: 1 John 4:7-21
Oddly by Joyce Dunbar
(Written for ages 3-7)
Comment: “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” There are a multitude of children’s stories on the topic of love. In reading this text from 1 John, I was drawn into wondering what it is to abide in love. How can that experience be described? Though an odd little book, Oddly is a literary image of the way love can change us and draw us home. Through love we find our true selves, our purpose in life, and we find what it is to be home.
Gospel Reading: John 15:1-8
When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars by Valiska Gregory
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: The gospel text echoes the message of our second reading. This time, we hear what it is to abide in Christ, the true vine. The way we choose to live affects our fruitfulness. Do we seek to live and work together as a community rooted in love or do we live a life focused only on ourselves while ignoring the needs of the community? How is life as a fruit-bearing branch is lived differently than life as a brach that withers and is thrown in the fire? You will find an example of characters who represent each branch as you read When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars.
The Lectionary Links for this week are written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.