Called To Share

Year B, Second Sunday of Easter; Acts 2:32-35; Lectionary reading for Sunday, April 11, 2021

I love reading about the early church in Acts. Imagine their enthusiasm for the new Way Jesus had provided! Of course there were conflicts, of course there were dangers, but passages like this in Acts 4 helps me envision not just a past, but a future where Christians live in harmony, sharing burdens and joys and making sure everyone has what they need. I won’t get into the argument for everyday Christians giving up all their possessions and turning to a communal life, but the message here is clear: we are called upon to share, even to everything we have.

Sharing is a frequent theme in children’s literature, because for young children who have just learnt the word “mine,” sharing is HARD. But wherever you land on the political spectrum and whatever your opinion of our current economic system, we can agree that children need to learn to share— and so do some adults. I will focus on my new favourite book about sharing, but I’ll also link to some classics so you have a few choices to turn to.

I recently discovered the author/illustrator Oge Mora and I am in love with her artistic style and meaningful stories. Thank You, Omu! tells the story of Omu (the Igbo word for Queen), a community elder cooking a delicious and particularly aromatic stew. As the smell wafts out her window, a variety of community members follow their noses up to her apartment. Even though she’s looking forward to sitting down to the best supper ever, she fills bowls for each of her visitors until there’s none left. Like every good book about sharing, Omu is rewarded for her selflessness, but I won’t spoil the lovely surprise ending.

Questions to ask before you read:

  • What is your favourite food? Is it difficult to share?
  • How would you feel if someone else ate ALL of your favourite food?
  • Who is it easy to share with? Who is it difficult to share with?

Questions to ask after you read:

  • Did Omu know her neighbours would come back?
  • Do you think she did the right thing when she shared until she didn’t have any left?

I hope you add Thank You, Omu! to your ministry library. If you click on the book (or on the links below), Amazon will work its magic and get it to your mailbox and I will receive a small commission. Check your library and your friendly neighbourhood school teacher too!

Mora, Oge. Thank You, Omu! Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2018

Some other sharing books to consider: