Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lent 3 A (March 27):Thirsting For God/What's the Point of Worship?



Bible readings: Exodus 17:1-7, Psalm 95, Romans 5:1-11, John 4: 5-42


About the Images:

Left: This is a microsoft free clipart with my text.
Right: This is an image I took while traversing the Simpson Desert last year (for more info on the Simpson please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson_Desert. The words are from the psalm. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.

Listening Song: You Move Me
By Susan Ashton from her album, A Distan
t Call or on the album, Nothing But Pop.

Listening Song: The Valley Song
By Jars of Clay on their album, Furthermore (pictured at right) or on WOW 2004. This goes well with the Exodus reading.

Listening Song: Lifes
ong
By Casting Crowns on
their album, Lifesong, or on WOW 2007. This goes very well with psalm 95.

Drama; Coffee Break
Found in
Let's Make a Scene For.... by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1998, ISBN 0859108937, page 10 (pictured in an earlier blog). ...Goes well with the psalm.

Dramatic reading: John 4:5-42

Using the translation you prefer, you can turn this reading into a script very easily by having people speak the words of Jesus, the woman, Disciple 1, Disciple 2, and the crowd (use the
whole congregation for the crowd). Any scripture that doesn't fit these characters and groups can be read by a Narrator.

Film Clip: Walk the Line
(pictured at left) The scene where Jonny Cash and his band sing for the record producer and the producer tells him that if he doesn't mean the songs and live the songs then he is never going to be a good gospel singer - great clip for psalm 95.

Discussion: On Walk the Line film clip
What is the point of worship?
Discuss together a definition of worship.


Film Clip: Patch Adams
Show the clip following the death of Patch's fiance where he has a conversation with God while standing on the edge of a cliff. (pictured at right)

Discussion: On Patch Adams film clip
Have you ever questioned God like Patch does?

Did God answer?

What is the significance of the butterfly
?

Story: Tribulation
A young man was having a great deal of trouble developing patience. He had tried everything, but could not develop the habit. Finally, in desperation, he visited the nearby monastary and the wise man who lived there.
"Father", said the young man, "Please help me! I am so impatient and nothing I can do seems to help! I would really appreciate it if you could pray and ask God to develop in me some patience!" "Certainly," replied the wise priest, and began to pray. "Heavenly Father, send this young man tribulation. Send him tribulation in the morning, send him tribulation in the evening..." "Stop!" cried the young man. "Tribulation? I asked you to pray for God to develop in me some patience! Why are you you asking Him to send me tribulation? That's the last thing I need!" The wise priest smiled at him. "How else do you think you are going to develop patience unless you get a chance to practice it? Hence the need for tribulation!" This story which fits well with Romans 5:3-5 is one of those emails that is forwarded around the net rather regularly.

Story: Worship
Found as story No 298 in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003, ISBN 1854245929 . Fits well with the gospel reading.

Sermon: Exodus 17:1-7
Tell three stories with similar sub-headings (see below)

1. The story of Exodus 17:1-7

2. The story entitled Urgent Messages in When You Walk by Adrian Plass, The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 237. This story is based on the gospel reading.
3. A personal story of your own
Sub-headings: a) the journey, b) a distressing event, c) when God seems absent, d) God IS present.

Response Activities:

Allow each member of the congregation to choose one of three different options:
1. Make a rain stick each (there is so much water symbolism in these readings!)

2. Discuss one of the readings.

3. Sit quietly and watch a powerpoint meditation - I put pictures and meditative music to psalm 95 followed by a prayer - I put both the psalm and the prayer up one line per slide and allowed around 15 seconds per slide.

Response Activity:Psalm Consequences
In
Multi-Sensory Scripture by Sue Wallace, Scripture Union, 2005, ISBN 1844271668, page 19.

Drama: A Monty Python Version of the John reading
For this to work well the actors need to be Monty Python addicts!
Cast: Jesus
Samaritan woman - with large plastic bucket

Three disciples - wearing tea towels and headbands not quite straight

(Jesus and disciples enter down left aisle - Jesus sits slightly to left of centre, disciples stand in centre half facing him and congregation)

J: Oh good, a well! I'm hot, tired, thirsty and hungry.
D1: What about we go and buy a bit of lunch, then?
D2: Oooh, what a good idea!
D3: Can I come too?
(Start up centre aisle of church - make sure conversation finishes before door)
D1: Ham and salad sandwiches would be nice!
D2 : Freshly baked rolls would be the thing!
D3: Um.... I can't really see ham being on the menu, can you?
D1: Well, anyway, I think I should pay!
D2 : No, No, No.... I'm sure it's my turn!
D3: I really do think one of you should do it?
D2: What is ham anyway?
D3: Pig.......... Hang on a minute, now. We can't eat pig, can we? It's against all the rules.
D1: Are you quite sure its pig?
D2: Pig: a hoofed domestic animal, reared for its flesh...... or an oblong mass of melted metal as in pig iron: ....... and to follow on : piggish: pertaining to or like pigs, dirty, greedy, stubborn; pig tail: the tail of a pig, a braid of hair hanging from the back of the head.........(on 'head' all three leave the church).
(Samaritan woman comes down right aisle to draw water from the well)

J: Excuse me, would you mind giving me a drink, please?
W: What? Are you asking me? You're a Jew!..... (pause) And I'm a Samaritan, in case you haven't noticed. (pause)...And we're not supposed to talk to each other, are we now?
J: You don't know what God wants to give you. If you knew me you'd be asking me for the water that gives life.
W: But, you've got no bucket!!! This is a deep well, you know.... Or have you got a better well somewhere else?
J: If you drink the water I give you, then you will never be thirsty again.
W: What! Are you saying that I can just throw this bucket away? A perfectly good bucket! J: Go and bring your husband.
W: Um....well now....actually...er...in actual fact.....ah, to put it bluntly .......... I have no husband.
J: That's nicely put. You have hit the nail on the head. You've already had five husbands and the man you're living with now isn't even your husband.
W: Oh ho! So you're a prophet, are you. You know what ? The Messiah's coming. When he arrives we'll get the whole story from him!
J: Well, you're speaking to him!
(Disciples enter and stop halfway down the church centre aisle laden with shopping bags or with a filled supermarket trolley)
D1: Well, would you look at that! A Samaritan woman! At the well! In the middle of the day!
D2: My goodness! Jesus is talking to her!
D3: And what's more - she's a Samaritan!
D2: And another thing - she's a woman!
D1: And , wink, wink, nudge, nudge, - she's obviously not your most popular lassy around town if she's here at lunch time.!
W:
(to Jesus) I want to tell everyone about you!
(She runs off down right aisle leaving her bucket at Jesus' feet)
D3: Look she's leaving!
(All shoosh each other and tell each other to pretend not to have noticed that Jesus was talking to the woman as they shuffle up to Jesus).
D1: Mmmmm, lovely bucket!
D2: No holes - a good sound one, isn't it?
D3: Very comely shade of um.... er ......
D2: Bucket! Vessel for drawing or carrying water; piston of pump; scoop of dredging machine or grain elevator, socket for whip carbine or wooden leg etc.; and to follow on - kick the bucket: slang term for die or perhaps obsolete form of......
D1: (obviously changing topic) My goodness. I'm hungry! Teacher, you must be starved. What about a bite to eat?
J: I have food that you don't know anything about
D1: What's this, then? Who bought food out here?
D2: What are we going to do with this lot then?
D3: (sarcastically) Hark, do I hear a street vendor's dulcet tones in the distance.
D1: Well, this is just not good enough, is it? Undermines our responsibilities!
D2: Dulcet: adjective, sweet, soothing especially of sounds; dulcify: sweeten, make gentle, hence dulcification, dulcimer: 15th century musical instrument.......
J: (shaking his head and breaking in gently) Stop a minute, you lot. Listen.
(Disciples sit at Jesus' feet to listen)
My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do.
c. Rosemary Broadstock and Ann Scull

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Lent 2 A (March 20): Going Places














Bible Readings:
Genesis 12:1-4a, Psalm 121, Romans 4:1-5, 13-17, John 3:1-17


About the Images:
Left:
This is a little bloke who looks as if he is well cared for in the safety department and who knows where he is going. Sort of like the Psalmist :) This is my photo so please feel free to use it in the context of worship.
Right:
This is a microsoft free clipart image with my text.

Kid's Story:
A Picture Strip Bible by Felecity Henderson and Chris Saunderson, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994970, page 10 (pictured at left). This obviously fits in with the Genesis reading.

Drama: Eternal Life And All That
Found in Lets Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 12 (pictured at right)
. This drama is based on verses from the gospel reading.

Story or Film Clip: Jim Elliot

The story of Jim Elliot and his four missionary colleagues has some great parallels with the readings. You can find the full story in the book
Through the Gates of Splendour by Elisabeth Elliot, ISBN 185078034X, or on the film of the same name.

Story: Worry or Life
Found in When You Walk by Adrian Plass, The Bible Reading Fellowship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 99 (pictured at right). This story is based on the gospel reading.

Story: Anxiety
You can find this story at http://www.christiancrusaders.org/details_web.asp?ID=454
. Scroll right down to the end of the page to find this story which goes very nicely with the Psalm.

Quote: Alice in Wonderland
"Cheshire Puss", Alice began rather timidly, "Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat. "I don't much care where....," said Alice. "Then it doesn't matter which way you go", said the Cat.
From Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.

Quote: Lewis Smedes
"God is there, ahead of time, before you get there, waiting, hands open, to hold you when you are sure you are sinking. You will feel his presence, feel his strength, feel the courage that comes from his support, if you just let him hold you. And when you do feel him, you will know that it will be all right with you at that moment, later, or any time....". By Lewis Smedes in How Can It Be Right When Everything Is All Wrong? and found in High Mountains, Deep Valleys edited by Rowland Croucher and Grace Tomlinson, Albatross, 1990, ISBN 086760090X, page 58. (pictured at left)

Poem/Meditation: The Love of God
This is a take on John 3:16 and I found two versions of it on the net:
1. Go to http://www.pastornet.net.au/gac/sermons/greatest-gift.php and scroll to the end of the page.

2. Go to http://webpages.marshall.edu/~cole8/sermons/SEPARATE.HTM and look in section III.

Adult Response:
Have a variety of art materials on hand as well as paper and pens. As a congregation, make a list of all the symbols found in the John reading eg., light, wind, bronze snake etc. Ask people to choose one symbol and group together with others who have chosen the same symbol. Ask each group to
1. Create a group representation of the symbol they have chosen , and
2. Write a prayer together which incorporates the symbol.
Some can compose while others create.