Bible Readings: Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16, Romans 10:8b-13, Luke 4:1-13.
About the Images:
Upper Left: Australian wilderness: the Bungle Bungles. This is my photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities. If you want more information on the Bungle Bungles please visit http://www.discoverwest.com.au/western_australia/bungle_bungles.html
Upper Right: The Judean wilderness in Israel. This is my photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities. If you want more information on this area, please visit http://www.bibleplaces.com/judeanwilderness.htm
Lower Left: This is a free image from Cerrezo Barredo's site - see my link column at left.
Lower Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website which was decimated by hackers last year. At present it is possible to buy these images very cheaply however this particular one is free on the site this week. Well worth the subscription!!! Visit the website at www.churchgalleries.com.
Drama: A Very Reasonable Man
Found in Stages on the Way by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose, 1998, ISBN 1876357363, page 29 (pictured at right). This play is based on the gospel reading.
Introductory Discussion Questions: About the drama and any images you can show of the devil.
1. How have the artists portrayed the devil? Why?
2. In the drama, what sort of voice does the devil have? why?
Story: The Indian and the Rattlesnake
The second last story on the temptation page at www.sermonillustrations.com It connects well with the gospel reading.
Story: Don't Forget to Look After Me
By Max Lucado in the conclusion of his book, In The Grip of Grace, Word Publishing, 1996, ISBN 0849911435 (pictured at right). This story goes well with the Romans reading.
Prayer: Stone Prayers
Give everyone a stone which they can hold comfortably (size wise) and which has both smooth and rough surfaces. Encourage them to shut their eyes in prayer. Ask them to feel the rough surfaces and to think of the rough (hard) areas in their lives at the moment. Encourage them to silently ask God for help with regard to these areas. Then ask them to feel the smooth surfaces and to think of the things in their lives that they are grateful for - the things that make them happy and give them joy. Encourage them to pray silently thanking God for these things.
NB 1. Depending on where you live - enough suitable stones might be hard to find. I dug up a bit of our gravel driveway! Sometimes plant nurseries sell stones but they are often too smooth - you may have to search though the bags of stones to find a suitable lot.
NB 2. I did this first nine years ago and later met a lady who keeps the stone from that service on a shelf which she passes each morning as soon as she gets up. She still starts each day with a "rough" help prayer and a "smooth" thank you prayer :-)