Yesterday, Victoria, the state in which I live, had the hottest day (46-low 50'sC) with the lowest humidity (4%) on record - this weather was accompanied by hot and dry storm force winds. Always a part of Australia prone to bush fires, this was the recipe for a disaster. Fires broke out all over the state and the present death toll stands at 181 and still counting and the housing loss stands at 1830 and still counting. The fires have burnt vast areas. Many, many people, farms and towns have been impacted in all sorts of ways and it is not over yet. The bushfires are far from out. If you want to help, visit http://relieffund.org.au/ If you would like to see what the day was like, visit the Australian Broadcasting Commission web site (or CNN or BBC) and watch a few of the videos or listen to some of the audios. We would very much value your prayers.
Bible Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-14, Psalm 30, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, Mark 1:40-45
Themes: 1. Healing. 2. Are We Rocks or Diamonds?
About the images:
Left: This is a free image from www.heartlight.org. A really great site.
Right: This is a photo from my church. It shows the healing found in community. I love looking at their faces. Feel free to use it.
Listening Song; Never Alone
by Barlow Girl on their CD, Never Alone or on WOW Hits 2005 For those in areas suffering from the above bushfires, this song is a beauty if accompanied by images of the recent fires.
Video Clip: Star Trek V: The Last Frontier
Copyright 1989: Paramount Pictures. Show first scene straight after Paramount promo and before credits – stop where J’onn rests his head on the rider’s chest.
Discussion: Star Trek V: The Last Frontier
How does the caped horseman help J'onn?
How can we be helpers for each other?
What are the risks?
Kids Story: The Man Who Took Seven Baths
by Joann Schek, Arch Books, 1970.(pictured at right)
Drama: Look at Me
in Mega Drama 3,Open Book 2002, ISBN 0859109178 (v.3), pp 54-55 (pictured in an earlier blog)
Story: Jimmy and the Genie
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995 ISBN 0310207681,(pictured at left), page 96-97. The Naaman story is a Jimmy and the Genie story because the rocks turn out to be diamonds and the diamonds turn out to be rocks.
Give each member of the congregation a heart with a bandaid sized tear in it and mention that all of us require the healing touch of God all of the time. Invite each member of the congregation to silently write in tiny writing around the tear on their paper heart, the healing that they are looking for.Play A Day Without Rain by Enya on A Day Without Rain whilst they are doing this. Then read Pethla in He Was in the World: Meditations for Public Worship by John Bell, Wild Goose, 1995, ISBN 094798870X, pp 30-33 (pictured in an earlier blog). Finally, distribute bandaides to everyone, and invite them to place the bandaid over the tear and the words on their torn heart. Let the mended hearts be a reminder both of the healing they have received from God, and the healing that they can bring to others.