Monday, April 06, 2015

Easter 2 B (April 12): On a Mission from God

Bible readings: Acts 4:32-35, Psalm 133, 1 John 1:1-2:2, John 20:19-31.

About the images:

Upper Left: Doubting Thomas by Michelangelo Caravaggio (1602-3)
Upper Right: My photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Lower left: A free Heartlight image - see my link column at left.
Lower Right: A free Imagebank image - see my link column at left - which I thought went well with the Psalm for today.

Call to Worship:
Bits of Psalm 133 make a good call to worship if you use a modern translation or paraphrase.

Listening Song: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
By U2 on their album, The Joshua Tree or The Best of 1980-1990 (pictured at right) or by The Sensitive New Age Cowboys on Tim Winton: Dirt Music. This makes a good starting point for Thomas' story in the gospel reading.

Prayer of Confession and Assurance:
Bits of the 1 John reading are useful here as long as you use a modern translation or paraphrase.

Introduction to the theme: What am I?I was created in the 1970’s.
People go to see me all of the time all over the world.
Often they go to see me late at night and they see me more than once.
People often dress up when they go to see me.
I have recently had a revival.
People wear dark sunglasses when they see me.
People, both men and women of all ages from children to the elderly, wear dark suits, white shirts and narrow black ties.
People wear small pork pie hats when they see me.

I am.....the Blues Brothers film.
This can lead in to a discussion/sermon about what it means to be on a mission from God.

Film Clip: The Blues Brothers
The part early on in the film where Jake and Elwood believe that God has spoken to them and that they are now on a mission from God. (pictured at left)

Pew Discussion:
One of the signs of "delusions of grandeur" on various psychological tests is the positive answer to the question "Do you believe you are a special agent of the Lord?"
What would you write if you had to do such a test?
Could you seriously say that you are on a mission for God?
Do you believe that other people are?

Drama: Who Me?
Found in Let's Make a Scene Too by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing, 1991, page 41 (pictured at right). This goes well with the John reading where Jesus talks about sending his disciples out into the world.

Response Activity:
Ask: what do you need to do today to be God’s special agent. Is it just a matter of saying OK, I’ll do it. Is it a matter of discovering what God wants you to do. Is there something else? Give each person a small business card and encourage people to think about their response to what is written on it (as follows):
My challenge: To be God sent
My authority: God’s say so
My help: the Holy Spirit
My response:...........................

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