Readings:Isaiah 6:1-8, Romans 8:12-17
NB: Sorry most of this blog comes from three years ago - I accidently "cracked me scone" on Friday and am not allowed back at work yet.
About the Image:
It is a three piece jigsaw puzzle I made to use with the kids. Please feel free to use it. I made mine on A3 paper and laminated the bits.
Decor: Have three candles and drape three pieces of material over the communion table - royal blue, red and gold.
Psalm 29 The Voice of Christ
In Australian Prayers by Bruce Prewer, Open Book, 1983, page 45.This works well with projected images.
Congregational Reading: Isaiah 6:1-8
by Maggie Durran in Building Worship Together by Martha Keys Barker and the Fisherfolk, Celebration, 1983, page 38 (pictured in an earlier blog).
Story: The Umbrella and the Queen
in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, page 167 (pictured in an earlier blog).
Chapter 25: On Seeing God in When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado, Word, 1994, page 177ff (pictured at right) has some great illustrations pertaining to the Isaiah reading.
Isaiah 6 Illustration:
After the mutiny on the Bounty, Fletcher Christian and his men eventually chose Pitcairn Island and arrived on 15 January 1790.
They realized it was originally charted incorrectly (by about 200 miles), thus making them less likely to be found by future voyagers. Deciding to stay on the isolated island, the nine remaining mutineers, their Tahitian women, and nine other Polynesian men and women, unloaded and stripped the ship, then on 23 January set the Bounty on fire so as to hide all evidence of their whereabouts ... The mutineers had not long been on Pitcairn Island when one day Christian ,while rummaging through his sea chest when he found the Bible his mother had given him. He and John Adams often went to a lonely cave on a remote part of the island where they studied the Book. They studied it to further their education as much as anything else.
After a period of four years, the community of Pitcairn had fallen in to turmoil. Fueled by homemade alcohol, disputes over women eventually resulted in the violent deaths of all of the Tahitian men and all but two of the mutineers – Adams and Young were the only two men left. Six years later Young died of asthma and Adams was left with eleven women and 23 children.
One day Adams had a dream in which was the clear message: "Go and train the children in the way of Christian's Bible." Adams turned to the Bible, which led him to repentance and a new outlook on life. Using the Bible, he then educated the children, built a school and organized the community into a Christian way of life. He taught them the Scriptures and helped them obey its instructions. The message of Christ so transformed their lives that twenty years later, in 1808, when the ship Topaz landed on the island, it found a happy society of Christians living in prosperity and peace, free from crime, disease, murder and mutiny.
Today, Christian's Bible, or the "Bounty" Bible, or the Pitcairn Bible is kept in the Seventh-day Adventist church, the island's only house of worship.
(Robert Nicolson, The Pitcairners, University of Hawai’i Press, 1997 and Hymns of the Norfolk Islands, Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1998)
Film Clip: Chocolat
Sometimes people come in to God’s presence through a vision, others by dreams, some in church, some through the actions of others. The Count De Reynaud (the mayor of the city and town "gate keeper") saw his job as ridding the town of immorality and any threat to its tranquility and tradition. However, after his encounters with the chocolate maker and others in the town, after hearing the priest’s Easter Sermon, and after seeing the chocolate festival in the town square after church, something changes in him.
How do you know when you are in the presence of God?
What are the implications of the Bible readings for us as we struggle to share our faith in meaningful ways?
Listening Song: Hands and Feet
by Audio Adrenaline on their album, Underdog. (pictured at left)
Response Activity: Practice the presence of God.
Ask people to go to a space by themselves and spend some time enjoying the presence of God. Give each person a copy of St Patricks prayer (or a bit of it anyway) to help them to concentrate. If people are getting used to doing things like this, don't have any background music. Allow people to enjoy the silence. If they are not comfortable yet, play some very quiet and soft music in the background. Allow at least five minutes for this activity.
St Patricks Prayer: Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,Christ on my right, Christ on my left,Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,Christ in every eye that sees me,Christ in every ear that hears me