Third Sunday of Easter: Week of May 1, 2022
Begin your devotion time by praying this: Almighty Creator, our hearts are transformed through relationship with you. The gift of your mercy invites us to be deeply compassionate with ourselves and one another. Bless us with the courage to act as servants of your divine will in the world. Amen.
Reflect on the Way of Love together: This week’s practice on the Way of Love is LEARN. Today’s reading teaches us about the way Saul’s life changed when he began to explore the good news of Jesus’ resurrection. What are some ways your life has changed since you started loving Jesus? How does reading the sacred scripture help you to be compassionate with yourself and others?
Adult and Small Child
Reflect: Grownups, before reading this week’s story, you can explain to small children that after Jesus had died and rose from the dead, his followers – the apostle Peter and the other disciples – had gone out to tell people about the amazing thing that God had done in Jesus! But there were people who didn’t believe them and people who didn’t like what they were saying about Jesus. Saul was one of those people and he was not very nice to the early followers of Jesus. But by reading the story in the book of Acts, we learn that Saul had an experience of God that helped him to see that he had been wrong to be an enemy of the followers of Jesus. He changed his mind and he changed his life and then became a person who worked to help others learn about God and about the amazing things that Jesus had taught and had done.
Respond: God’s love has the power to change things! God’s love changed Saul so that he understood who Jesus was (the Son of God, the Messiah) and how Jesus had been raised from the dead. This week, let’s learn about how things change by exploring how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Grownups, with your small children you can read a familiar children’s book or find an age-appropriate video on YouTube that shows this transformation. Then, work together to make your own caterpillar with a chenille stem folded in half – set the chenille stem caterpillar beside you as you use markers or paints to color on a paper coffee filter. When it’s decorated, pinch the opposite ends of the coffee filter together and wrap the chenille stem around the middle. Spread out the coffee filter like wings and use the ends of the chenille stem to make antenna. (If you search “coffee filter butterfly” online, you’ll see lots of examples of this simple craft!)
- Katy Seitz Denning
Adult and Elementary
Reflect: In elementary school, as an early reader, we had to complete book reports in our English/Language Arts curriculum. One style of book report is called a "How To" book report. In it, you summarize a book that teaches you how to do something. I have always liked learning about making desserts. I enjoy eating cakes, pies, and brownies. For my "How To" book report, I described the process of making banana bread. I used a step-by-step approach. We can also use a step-by-step approach to learning about God. Some of the steps include: going to church, reading the Bible, and taking the time to pray. Are you able to think of any other steps?
Respond: While we are learning, it is important to ask questions. Talk with a trusted adult about God. Write down 3-5 questions that come up during your discussion. Take those questions to a priest or pastor and think about the answers they give.
- Imani Driskell
Adult and Youth
Reflect: Today’s lesson from Acts tells the story of Saul who will eventually become Paul, one of Jesus’s greatest followers. Before becoming Paul, Saul did some terrible things. He persecuted Christians and even the disciples. In this transformation story, we find Saul traveling on the road to Damascus and, on the way, he is blinded for three days from a bright light from heaven. Upon receiving his sight again and then becoming baptized, he became a true follower of Christ and began traveling the world preaching only the good news. This story reminds us that anyone can be changed and used to serve God.
Respond: Everyone deserves a second chance and a new beginning. We all have something to learn from our own mistakes. There are many new starting points in our lives such as beginning a new school or even a new school year. But you can also choose to wake up tomorrow and start a new day just like Paul did as a changed man. You don’t have to wait for that new school year to do it. No matter our pasts, we can always start over. Think this week about what changes you may need to make to be a better follower of Christ.
- Lauren Wainwright
Adult and Adults
Reflect: The conversion of Saul is told in a straightforward, almost simple, way in Acts but is in fact a moment of great promise for the Way, the early movement that Saul had been persecuting. The blinding light that flashes around Saul is his invitation to LEARN and in learning to grow anew. We might experience many points of light in our lives: the light that goes off when we grasp a concept or formula that we’ve been missing, the light that signals danger up ahead, the peaceful light that comes from a seeing a newborn, the church member who always emanates a light different from so many others. Our eyes are opened to LEARN from these lights, to see in them and through them important messages for our lives. How profound for Saul that, not only did a light summon his attention but a voice, THE VOICE, did as well. What are the lights in our lives and what can we LEARN from them? How might we serve as learning lights for others?
Respond: Embrace a light in your life and LEARN from it. Start simply, with a lit candle, and meditate while watching it grow and dance. See life in its light and invite the light that moves in front of you to lead you in thinking of new possibilities. See life in the candle’s light and imagine the possibilities your life illumines for others. And listen.
- Mallard Benton
Tags: Lectionary Based Readings & Reflections / Year C / Latest Posts