Saturday, March 07, 2009

Lent 4 B (March 22): Unconditional Love

Bible readings: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm
107:1-3, 17-22, John 3: 14-21, Ephesians 2:1-10

About the images:
Top: Mediacom free clipart with my text.
Bottom: My photo - feel free to use it.

Listening Song:: Speechless
By Steven Curtis Chapman on his album, Speechless, or on WOW 2000 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Listening Song: Call My Name
By Third Day on their album, Revelation, or on WOW 2009 (pictured at right). This song matches well with the Gospel reading.

Prayer of Confession: In this World
Found in Stages on the Way by The Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Resource Group, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 55 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Film Clip: Les Miserables
From the end of the credits (the first scene) startiong with the convict walking the streets and ending with the priest blessing him and giving him a second chance (pictured in an earlier blog).

Film Clip: Walking Across Egypt
(pictured at left).Show the clip where Mattie argues with her children about when she should stop loving and caring for Wesley. I got this clip from in their "unconditional love" section. This site is well worth the subscription.

Discussion: Walking Across Egypt
1. When does God stop loving us?
2. When should we stop loving others?

Film Clip: Aladdin
Show one of the clips where Aladdin tries to impress Princess Jasmine by pretending he is some thing that he is not - there is one particularly useful clip where his friends encourage him to tell her the truth but he can't do it.

Discussion: Aladdin

1. Why was Aladdin pretending to be someone he was not?

2. Who was Aladdin trying to impress?
3. How do we sometimes try to find favour with God and with each other?

Kid's Time: Learning John 3:16
Put the individual (or pairs or phrases) words of John 3:16 on big red hearts and distribute to various members of the congregation before the service. Ask them to hold them in front of them at the start of the children’s time. Ask kids to come out and look at the congregation and see if they can see anything odd. Tell them it is a secret message from God to them and ask them to find all the people with hearts, bring them to the front and then try to arrange the secret message so that it makes sense. The adults always help if it gets a little difficult :-)

Kid's Story: The Sneeches
The first story in The Sneeches and Other Stories by Dr Seuss, Dr Suess Enterprises, 1957, ISBN 0007158505 (pictured at right). This story can lead to a discussion about whether we need to do anything to be loved by God.

Drama: The Tune
Roughly based on a puppet play (but no longer using as many people or puppets) found in Drama Resources One from the South Australian Lutheran Youth Office. My version makes use of a fairly astute musician. Email me if you would like a copy.

Drama: That's Not Fair
Based on John 3:16-17 and written by Rosemary Broadstock and Ann Scull. Email me if you would like a copy.

Story: Too Late
Based on the Ephesians reading this story is found at You need to scroll down the page to find it.

Story: The Kiss
In Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1194, ISBN 0310402611, page 131 (pictured in an earlier blog). This links well with the Gospel reading.

Story: The First Shall be Last
In Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks Book 4 by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 2001, ISBN 0310236193, page 160. (pictured in an earlier blog). This links well to the Ephesians reading.

Response Activity: Unity
In 40 Devotions that Work with Youth, by Geraldine Anderson (ed).,JBCE, 1983, ISBN 0858194147, page 58 (pictured at left). In the book this was intended to be a youth group devotion for the Ephesians reading however it can be quite easily adapted to suit a congregation and used as part of the sermon or as a conclusion. Try using post-it notes and a small portable cross instead of paper and the floor.

Response Activity: Loving as God Loves
Hand out pencils and A5 sheets or business cards (it's better to do this bit when people are arriving for the service) with the following words: God loved me and ………………. so much that he gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life. God did not sent Jesus into the world to condemn me or ………….. God sent Jesus to save us. John 3:16-17. Give everyone a minute or two to talk to God and to fill in the blanks.

Response Activity: Forgiven by God
Found in Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 73 (pictured in an earlier blog).

Response Activity: John 3:14-21
In response to this reading, I used three of the above activities:
vv. 14-15: Forgiven By God
vv. 16-17: Loving as God Loves
vv. 18-21 The Tune

Closing Prayer: You Call your Disciples
Found in
Stages on the Way, as above, (pictured in an earlier blog) page 59.


Marion Latham said...

Hi Ann,

I recently bought a kids' book called 'I Love You, Stinky Face' by Lisa McCourt, illustrations by Cyd Moore, published 2002 by Hinckler Books, Austalia. Previously published by BridgeWater Paperback, 1998

I think I'll use it even if we have no children next sunday as an illustraltion of God's grace.

Marion Latham

Sheila said...

I love the lay out of your service. May I have a copy of the dramas please?
Thank you
Sheila Slone