Bible Readings: 1 Kings 21:1-21
a, Psalm 5:1-8, Galatians 2:15-21, Luke 7:36-8:3
About the Images:
Upper Left : This is free Microsoft clipart with my text.
Upper right: I used a number of free Microsoft clipart to make this image.
Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image. 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
Listening Song: His Love Was Reaching
By David Meece on his album, Odyssey (pictured at right). This goes particularly well with the Old Testament and the Gospel reading.
Listening Song: Dr Jekyll and Mr Christian
by Whiteheart on their album. Souvenirs (pictured at left).
Discussion: Dr Jekyll and Mr Christian
1. What groups in society do we find it hard to accept and love?
2. What groups do we condemn?
3. What groups do we avoid?
4. What is the challenge for us in both the gospel reading and the song?
Listening Song: Gather at the River
By Point of Grace on their album, Point of Truth (pictured at right) and on WOW 2001. This goes well with the gospel reading and with the adult response below.
Listening Song: Fat Boy
By Jewel on her album, Spirit (pictured at left).
Discussion: Fat Boy
1. Are we as loving to the outcasts in our society as we are to our friends and family?
2 Who are the outcasts?
3. Who do we include in our circles and who do we leave out?
4. In the song, the fat boy tries to make out everything is OK and that he is not hurt. How does he do that?
5. Why do you think Jewel finishes the song where she does?
6. What do you think she is asking us to consider?
Kid's Story: A Party For Jesus
Found in The Picture Strip Bible by Felicity Henderson and Chris Saunderson, Scripture Union, 2001, ISBN 1859994970, page 72 (pictured at right).
Ask the Kids:
1. What did Simon think of the lady?
2. What did Jesus think of the lady?
3. What does the story tell us about what Jesus thinks of us?
Kid's Activity: Welcome Gifts
You can often buy very cheap key rings (with little wooden cut out shapes attached) in reject shops and craft shops. Allow the kids to paint or colour these and give them as welcome gifts to new people who come to church.
Film Clip: Shadowlands
Show the part where C.S. Lewis and an Anglican priest have a discussion about prayer. See the subtitled clip below. Lewis says: "I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time - waking and sleeping."
Ask: How hard is it to ask each other for help when we need it and how hard is it to ask God for help when we need it?
His last line is a ripper and worthy of discussion too.
Film Clip: Sons of Korah Psalm 32
(the alternative Pslam set down for today which goes beautifully with the gospel reading)
Give everyone a bookmark with the words of Psalm 5:1-3 printed on it. Read the whole psalm and then invite people to write on the back of the bookmark, two prayers which are close to their hearts at the present time: one a thank you for a recently answered prayer, and one a prayer that is still in need of answer.
1. How do you feel when a prayer does not seem to be answered?
2. What was a Pharisee?
3. Who are most like Pharisees today?
To Think About
1. When do you find yourself acting like Simon in the gospel story?
2. Like Simon, what do we need to ask God to forgive us for?
Quotes: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
1. We must turn our struggle into surrender and then prayer becomes the starting point for action.
2. From the moment we awake until we fall asleep, we must commend other people wholly and unreservedly to God and leave then in his hands, transforming our anxiety for them into prayer on their behalf.
Index 1002-1005 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990
Story: Christ Knocking
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 81.
Poem: The Sinful Woman
By Ranjini Rebera in The Bible Through Asian Eyes by Maseo Takenaka nad Ron O'Grady, Pace Publishing, ISBN 0959797106, page 102 (pictured at right)
By J. Barrie Shepherd in Imaging the Word Volume 1 by Kenneth T. Lawrence, Jann Cather Weaver and Roger Wedell (Eds.), United Church Press, 1994, ISBN 0829809716, page 221.
Work of Art: Her Sins Are Forgiven
By Wu Yuen-kwei in The Bible Through Asian Eyes, as above, page 103 or in Imaging the Word Volume 1 (as above), page 219.
Have a bowl of salty water, a jar of scented oil and a packet of hand wipes set out at the front of your worship space on three separate tables.
Ask people to think about where they think they best relate to the gospel reading today:-
Is there something you need to ask God for today? (Go to the salty water and as you pray, trace a cross on your cheek with a finger dipped in the water ).
Is there something you would like to thank God for? (Go to the scented oil and as you pray, trace a cross on the back of your hand with a finger dipped in the oil ).
Is there some way that God is calling you to serve in the church or in the community? (Go to the hand wipes and as you pray, wipe your hands with a hand wipe) - to illustrate how we need to wash our hands before we get down to servant work not to illustrate the grubbiness of those we serve. Sadly this needs to be explained sometimes.
Blessing: A Benediction
By J. Danson Smith and found in High Mountains, Deep Valleys by Rowland Croucher and Grace Thomlinson (Eds.) Albatross, 1990, ISBN 086760090X, page 239.n