Bible Readings: Zephaniah 3:14-20, Isaiah 12:2-6, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3: 7-18
About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a Microsoft free clipart image on to which I put the text.
Upper Right: This is a free image from www.heartlight.com - a great site for worship images - you will find a link to them in my links column on the left of this page.
Lower Left and Right: These are two slides from the excellent resources found at Church Galleries - see my link column at left.
Listening Song; When You say Nothing At All
By Ronan Keating on his album, When You Say Nothing At All (pictured at left). This goes very well with the Zephaniah reading where it says that God "silently shows us his love".
Listening Song: If this Thing Should Spill by Born in the Flood
This video clip is the song put to pictures by www.threadschurch.org. The song goes beautifully with the Philippians reading and is a great introduction to the response activity below - how do these things (particularly peace in the song but also gentleness, rejoicing and prayer are evident too) spill out into the community around us and how do they impinge on our own lives. Thanks to Singing the Lectionary -see my link column at left - for this song suggestion.
Kid's Story: Wombat Divine
By Mem Fox and Kerry Argent, Omnibus Books, 1995, ISBN 1862913021 (pictured at right). Brilliant!!!! Everyone has a role to play when it comes to Christmas in in God's scheme of things.
Film Clips: Paperless Christmas
www.paperlesschristmas.com has the greatest set of short films for use in church based on a modern look at the Christmas story. A brilliant effort!
Drama: A Publicity Photo
Found in Mega Drama 6 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109208, page 79 (pictured at left). This drama goes well with the gospel reading.
Quote/Story: Leonard Bernstein
Scroll down to the third story at http://net.bible.org/illustration.php?topic=756. This goes well with the gospel reading.
Story: Safe Under the Falls
Find this story in the Youth Bible, Word Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 631 (pictured at right). After telling the story, read Isaiah 12:2-6 and use it to re-assure people in times when they are fearful or reluctant to share the Christmas story.
Story: Even Now The Taste
Found in The Speaker's Source Book of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley, Word Publishing, 1995, ISBN 0849936756, page 38 (pictured at left). This story fits in well with Phillippians 4:6.
Story: Pillsbury Doughboy Wanted for Attempted Murder
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes by Jim Burns and Greg Mckinnon (eds.), Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 41 (pictured at right). This story fits in well with Philippians 4:6.
Poem: The Faithful Are Fearless
Found In Due Season by Herbert F. Brokering, Augsburg Publishing House, 1966 (pictured at left) in the winter section. Based on Philippians 4:7.
Poem: First Coming
By Madeleine L'Engle in Imaging the Word, Volume 1, United Church Press, 1994, ISBN 082980716, page 85 (pictured in an earlier blog). This connects well with the Philippians reading.
Give each person a small card with the words: rejoicing, gentleness, prayer and peace written on one side. Ask people to write the name of a person they would like to share the message of Christmas with on the blank side of the card. Ask them to turn the card over and look at the four words and then ask: How can you share the Good News of Christmas best with the person you named; is it through rejoicing, through gentleness, through prayer, through peaceful words or actions. Give time for silent prayer.
Kids: Let the Celebrations Begin
By Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas, Box Press, with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 55. This goes well with the Philippians reading.