for Sunday, May 5, 2013
6th Sunday of Easter
lectionary focus: John 14:23-29
(Note: Again this year, May is a full month: the 12th is Mother’s Day; the 19th is Pentecost; and the 26th is Trinity Sunday. Where do we fit Graduation Sunday? I like to recognize the graduates by having them come down for children’s time. As they take this big step into the adult world, graduates love remembering and doing those things they did as young children–and the younger children love seeing the big kids and knowing soon they will be big, too.)
Yes, we are still celebrating the joy and mystery of Easter! And now we are in the month of May…and when it is May, that means summer is just around the corner. And for some people this will be an extra special summer. Some of the people in our church family are graduating from high school and moving on to the next part of their lives. They may be getting a “real” job or going off to college. As they near their graduation, I asked them to join us on the steps today…one more time.
Now wherever our graduates are going…to a job or school…it will be a new experience. And sometimes, new experiences can be kind of scary. We worry if we will do things right, or if we will have friends, or if something unimaginable will happen!
But the good news is this: We are Easter people. This means that no matter what, no matter where we go or what we do, God is with us. Yes, even after the Easter Season is over, we will still celebrate Easter. In our Bible story today, Jesus tells us: do not let your hearts be troubled, do not be afraid. He is with us. God is our Home wherever we are. God is our Light wherever we are. So whether we are doing the same old thing as last week, or if we are going out into the world to do something new, God is with us.
You know, I see these graduates smiling and nodding their heads. They’ve heard these words before. And I bet you younger kids know already that we grownups like to repeat the important things. Seems like every day we tell you all to use your manners, wash your hands, eat your vegetables, put your clothes in the dirty clothes hamper, buckle your seatbelt, go to sleep, do your homework, and that we love you. You hear these words over and over, so it is also right that one more time you hear: God loves you. This is the Easter message that is so joyous, that is so continuous, that is written on our hearts, and that we can never hear too many times.
Today we tell our graduates to go out into the world in peace (and come back to us) and to know that they are always loved by God and by us.
Will you say a prayer with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
for being with me
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.