Tag Archives: 1 Peter

When Life Gives You Lemons…

lemonfor Sunday, May 25, 2014
6th Sunday of Easter
Year A
lectionary focus: 1 Peter 3:13-22
prop: a lemon


This is a lemon. Lemons taste sour. They make our faces go like this. (Make the face.) I have often wondered about the first person to eat a lemon. If they had be expecting a sweet taste, like with an orange, imagine their surprise with the lemon. What if that person had said, “Yuck! These should not be eaten by people!” And from then on, we thought lemons were bad or poisonous. Instead, it seems that the first person to eat a lemon probably said, “Oh! That is sour! But I bet it would be really good if we mixed it with something sweet to make a tart, refreshing flavor!” That first person, with their positive thinking, mixed the intense sharpness of lemon juice with the sweet power of sugar…and we all now enjoy lemonade. This manipulating the chemistry of food is what we are doing when we cook. And lemonade is by far one of the best examples ever of taking an unpleasant flavor and making it lovely. In fact, it is such a good example that we have a saying in our culture: if life gives you lemons, make lemonade. This saying is not warning you that people will be handing you lemons throughout life; this saying is advising you to take the unpleasant things that happen in your life and make them into something lovely.

In our Bible story today, St. Peter gives us just such advice. No, you’re not going to read anything about lemons and lemonade, but St. Peter does say that there will be difficult, dreadful, distressing moments in our lives. And St. Peter says that in these moments, we should look for and work for ways to show these things into God’s good. And in our hearts, we will have peace knowing that we are doing the right things and that God is with us and that we will get through the difficulties. In other words, St. Peter is saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Today during our fellowship time, we have lemonade to go with our donuts. And the next time you are faced with something scary or difficult, look to see how you can make things better. Look for ways to make lemonade and continue to share God’s love.

Will you say a prayer with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for lemons!
Thank You
for lemonade.
When life gives me lemons,
help me
to make lemonade
and to share Your love.

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

Rock Hopping

IMG_8185for Sunday, May 18, 2014
5th Sunday of Easter
(Graduation Sunday?)
Year A
lectionary focus: 1 Peter 2:2-10
props: rocks
note: We are recognizing Graduation Sunday on this day hence the inset paragraph; we have all of the Youth gather on the steps with us for this occasion. Use or omit, whichever is appropriate.


When we go with the Youth Group to church camp at Montreat, North Carolina, one of the many fun things we do is go Rock Hopping. There is a creek full of rushing water that comes down from the mountain. The creek water is very cold, even in the hottest part of the summer. And the creek is full of rocks. Some of the rocks are small enough to hold in your hand; others are big enough for several people to sit down and rest; and other rocks are just the size of your foot. And while those rocks come in many sizes, there are really only two kinds of rocks: the rocks that the water rushes over and covers up and the rocks that stick up out of the water and are dry. When we rock hop, we try to walk and jump and climb from dry rock to dry rock without stepping in…or falling in…the icy water. We are trying to stay dry, but of course getting wet is part of the joyful fun of Rock Hopping! As we are hopping down the creek, I can almost hear rocks calling to me: “Step here! Come this way! I’m firm and don’t wiggle! There’s no slippery moss on me!” I know, the rocks don’t talk; they are not alive; but I do think if they were alive and could talk, they would enjoy all of the laughing and screaming and jumping and falling and balancing as much as we do.

I thought about these rocks in Flat Creek when I was reading our Bible story for today. In this story from the Book of 1 Peter, we hear another one of those weird phrases from the Bible: St. Peter calls us to be living stones. Stone is another word for rock. But living? We just agreed that rocks are not living. They are just rocks. We use them for many things: we use them to build buildings and houses and roads and bridges. And we use the rocks in Flat Creek as stepping stones. Those rocks are how we get from one place to the next. Those rocks are what hold us up.

So how can we be living stones?

I like to think that when St. Peter calls us to be living stones, we are being called to live our lives in ways that help people move forward, that we are to help people get from one place to another, and that we are to do that in a fun and entertaining way. We are to be helpful stepping stones that others may firmly and safely and joyfully live their lives.

(If this is Graduation Sunday…)
Today we are celebrating moving forward. School is just about finished for the year. We will all enjoy summer vacation and then start back to new grades and maybe even new schools. Tamara will be starting a new grade and a new school. Tamara is graduating from high school and next August will go off to Warren Wilson College. Tamara used to sit on the chancel steps like y’all do each week; then Tamara got old enough to be in Youth Group; and Tamara has rock hopped at Montreat like a master. As she moves forward to a new adventure, we here at Edgewood Church will continue to be her stepping stone, firmly and joyfully lifting her up and supporting her throughout her life. And as we do this for Tamara, we here at Edgewood Church will support each and every one of you, too. There is nothing that separate you from the love of God…or from from the love of us.

Today I brought each of you a little river rock. Keep this and remember that you are called to live your life helping others. You are called to be a living stone.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for fun games
like Rock Hopping.
Thank You
for calling me
to be a living stone.
Help me
to help others
live their lives
safely and joyfully.

We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.