Third Sunday of Easter
Adult and Small Child
Quantrilla (Quanny) Ard is a faith-based personal and spiritual development writer who lives in the DC Metro area with her husband Donny and three littles (Quentin, Dylan, and Logan). In addition to being a dedicated wife and mother, she is a entrepreneur, doctoral student, and curator of all things lovely. As a woman on her own quest of shining a light on the shadowy, hidden places in her life, she writes as the PhDMamma about things she knows to be true in hopes to encourage others to do the same. Her spiritual goals and her love for Christ propel her quest to share the spiritual journey with other women- to walk alongside them and encourage them with words, deeds, and wisdom. Quanny believes in the power in collective strength, community and fellowship. You will find her wherever people are sharing stories of triumph.
Read: Acts 9:1-6 (7-20)
Reflect: Saul went to the high priest to get permission to arrest Christians and bring them back to Jerusalem. On his way to Damascus, a bright light flashed, knocking him to the ground. He heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" He asked, "Who are you, Lord?" The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do." The people who were with Saul heard the voice but saw no one and they were afraid. Saul got up, but could not see although his eyes were open. In Damascus, a follower of Jesus named Ananias, had a vision where God told him to go visit Saul of Tarsus on Straight Street. God also told Ananias that Saul was praying for him to come so that he could pray for his eyes to see again. Ananias was worried because of all the things he had heard about Saul, but God told him to go because He had chosen Saul. So Ananias went and laid hands on Saul and immediately what looked like scales fell from his eyes and he could see again! Saul was baptized and stayed in Damascus for several days. He also went to the churches and told everyone that Jesus is the Son of God.
Respond: To understand what Saul felt like when he couldn’t see, ask a parent or trusted adult to help you tie a scarf around your head so that you cannot see. Have them lead you around safely and then discuss how you think Saul felt after God healed him.
Adult and Elementary Imani Driskell is the Director of Children's, Youth, and Family Ministries at St. Michael's-in-the-Hills Episcopal Church in Toledo, Ohio. Imani was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and is a bagel and pizza enthusiast. She enjoys learning, teaching and speaking about Faith Formation. Her favorite novel is The Living is Easy by Dorothy West.
Imani Driskell is the Director of Children's, Youth, and Family Ministries at St. Michael's-in-the-Hills Episcopal Church in Toledo, Ohio. Imani was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and is a bagel and pizza enthusiast. She enjoys learning, teaching and speaking about Faith Formation. Her favorite novel is The Living is Easy by Dorothy West.
Read: John 21:1-19
Reflect: This reading points out that this is the third time that Jesus appeared to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. Jesus made sure that His friends had opportunities to see and interact with Him. Jesus cares for us just as He cared for the disciples. Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” Jesus tells Peter to feed, tend and feed the sheep. These are continual tasks, but they are also important ones. We are Jesus’ sheep and we need continual care. We need to be fed with spiritual food, this is what happens when we partake in the Eucharist. Our work and worship is how we are provided with ongoing, continual care.
Respond: Do you have any pets? If not, are there any plants in your house? If you don’t have any pets or plants, think of the people in your family. Write down a list of the names of the people in your family. These people need to be fed and cared for and that’s what Jesus does for all of us.
How do you see Jesus' love in the world around you?
Adult and Youth
Faitth is the Communication and Programming Director for Legacy Collective. She engages in community organizing and activism. Her passion makes her a relentless spokesperson for racial reconciliation. She is a social media strategist and blogger who writes at Faitthbrooks.com.
Read: Psalm 30
Reflect: In Psalm 30, David is giving thanks to God for victory over his enemies. He is testifying of the goodness of God in his life. As we move past Resurrection Sunday, this Psalm is an important reminder that even in times of despair and sorrow, God proves to be faithful. God’s love is enduring. And as we look forward in rejoicing and hope, it’s important to remember that we will have troubles, but God continuously rescues us when we call. It is with this in mind that we can grieve on Saturday and look forward to Sunday when Jesus rises. This truth is not limited to Easter weekend; it’s truth for our daily lives. There will be “Saturdays” that consist of death, mourning, trouble and heartache, but there will also be “Sundays:” days of rejoicing, celebration, rising, and elation.
May you look forward today in celebration and hope because you are never alone and never forgotten.
Respond: Write a list of 10 things God has done for you recently and take time to reflect on it this week.
Adult and Adults
Peggy Hoppes is a writer, artist, photographer and crafter; her creativity reflects her faith. She is married with two grown children. She began writing “A WORD FOR TODAY,” a devotional, in August 1999 which can be found at www.awordfortoday.org. Peggy teaches a Bible class at her church and has led workshops. She has published several books. Peggy shares her gifts to build up the church, to help Christians grow as disciples with living faith and to be a witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world.
Read: Acts 9:1-6 (7-20)
Reflect: Jacob Koshy was a smuggler and drug dealer, a gambler and an abuser living in Singapore. He ended up in a prison where he could not even get a cigarette. He managed to meet his cravings using smuggled tobacco and the torn pages of a Bible. One night he fell asleep with a cigarette that burned out in his hand. He awoke and read the words, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
Jacob asked for another copy of the Bible and he read the story of Paul’s conversion. He realized that if God could work such a miracle in the life of a man like Saul, then God could do the same for him. Jacob got down on his knees and with tear filled eyes asked Jesus to change him too. By smoking the Word of God, Jacob experienced the miracle of God’s mercy and grace. He stopped chasing after wasteful things and lived a praise-filled life in thanksgiving as a missionary.
Damascus Road does not happen for us all. Christian elders shared the Word of God with us through prayer and patient witness. Slowly, but surely, we came to know Christ and to make Him a part of our daily lives. We are called to prayerfully share God’s grace with the world, for no one is outside God’s love.
Respond: Give a copy of a children’s Bible to a child you love. Read them the stories about Jesus so that they will make Him a part of their daily lives.