Year A: June 19, 2011
First Reading: Genesis 1:1-2:4a
Big Momma Makes the World by Phyllis Root (Written for Ages 5-9)
Comment: “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth… God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” Children’s literature is rife with stories of creation. This beautifully illustrated story is a creative reimagining of the seven-day account of creation. God is portrayed as Big Momma—laundry piling up and a baby on her hip—and when she sets out to do something, she does it right. There is a certain warmth that seeps through the reader as Big Momma surveys the world she’s made and proclaims, “That’s good. That’s real good.”
Betty Lou Blue by Nancy Crocker (Written for Ages 5-9)
Comment: Paul is giving final words of wisdom to the church in Corinth in the closing of this epistle. By following his advice, and living in the way of peace and love, the Corinthian community will be aware of God’s presence among them. Sometimes we need helpful reminders from those who love and care for us to help us fully live into the people we are called to be. Betty Lou Blue finds herself in need of this same kind of advice for living when she has the opportunity to help out or ignore the needs of the kids who usually bully her. When she thinks of leaving the bullies stranded in the snow, mama’s voice comes to mind: “Dear, everything’s ugly that’s done of out spite; but you can be beautiful doing what’s right. ‘Cause what makes you special, what sets you apart, is not on the outside—it’s there in your heart.” After Betty Lou rescues her bullies, they become her friends.
When We Were Saints by Han Nolan (Written for Ages 13+)
Comment: The Gospel of Matthew ends with the Great Commission. Through his final words with his disciples, Jesus guides the future direction of their lives. These words guide the lives of Christians today, as we look to them for direction and comfort. Our relationship with Jesus, and the life he calls us to live, shapes our path and our actions. Archie’s life is also shaped by last words—those of his grandfather. As his grandfather is dying he turns to Archie and says, “Young man, you are a saint!” (Chapter 2) The remainder of the novel focuses on Archie’s journey to understand what these words mean. On his journey he experiences both great faith and great confusion, and eventually comes to a sense of clarity concerning his own identity.
This Lectionary Links post was written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun.