Sunday, July 17, 2016

Proper 16 C (August 21): Freedom/Hearing God's Call


Bible Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-10, Psalm 71:1-6 or Psalm 103:1-5, Hebrews 12:18-29, Luke 13: 10-17

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free Microsoft clip art.
Upper Right: This image comes from This site no longer updates (you will see the sad reason why when you visit) however the artist, Don da Silva, has left a legacy of wonderful free images and templates via the site archives.

Lower Left: This is a free image from the Hermano Leon 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

Listening Song: Psalm 103:1-5
By Sons of Korah on their album, Rain (pictured at left). I used this beautiful song as part of the pardon for the prayer of confession and set it to a series of images.

Kid's Story: The Gospel Story
I got this idea from doing mime clown workshops years ago. Talk to the children about the woman's physical disability but then encourage them to mime with their whole bodies how they feel
when they are sad (most go all droopy and slump forward),
when they feeling guilty (ditto)
when they are feeling bullied (ditto)
when they are worried (ditto) etc etc.
I think you probably get the picture from there :-) and can go on and relate it to freedom we have in Jesus. While you are doing the mimes with them you have to over emphasise it and make a bit of a fool of yourself, but I reckon that's not too hard for most of us.

Kid's Story: Jeremiah

Use a balloon to represent Jeremiah. First he was a deflated balloon, unsure of himself, lacking confidence and unsure of what to say. Emphasise that God didn't mind that Jeremiah was young and inexperienced and that God gave Jeremiah all the resources he needed to get the job done. As a consequence, Jeremiah became an inflated balloon filled with God's Spirit.

Film Clip or Story: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Use the dialogue where Susan and Lucy ask Mr and Mrs Beaver to describe Aslan. Start when Mr Beaver says "Aslan a man?" and finish when he says "Of course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you". Found in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis, Puffin Books, 1950 (pictured at left) or in the film of the same name (pictured at right).

Film: Cocoon
(pictured at left) Use any scene at the start where the elderly people are made out to be the living dead and contrast this with the thoughts of the Psalmist in Psalm 71.

Story: Thermometers and Thermostats 
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties, 1994, ISBN 0310402611, page 198 (pictured at right). This gos well with the gospel reading.

Quote: John Bell
"Women make up half the world's population
do two thirds of the world's productive work,
own ten percent of the world's wealth,
and one per cent of the world's land."
Found in Ten Things They Never Told Me About Jesus by John Bell, Wild Goose Publications, 2009, ISBN 9781905010608, page 83 (pictured at left). An excellent book!

Quote: Unknown Source
I intend to stay alive for the whole of my life

Poem: My Name is Known to You
by Kathy Galloway and found in Resources for Preaching and Worship - Year C compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, ISBN 066422508X, Page 234. This works really well with projected images and music and matches in with each of the readings. For background music I used Immortal Memory by Lisa Gerrard and Patrick Kennedy on their beautiful album, Immortal Memory.
Group Discussion:
What do you think God is calling our church to do?
How can we personally be involved?
Where does each one of us fit?

Adult Response:
Give everybody a small card with the following questions and a space to quietly think.
Are we........
  • Like Jeremiah? - despite feeling inadequate or inexperienced we trust God and answer God's call to us
  • Like the Psalmist? - willing and able to share a lifetime of experiences which reflect what we have learnt as we have grown into our relationship with God
  • Like the woman in the gospel? - eagerly sharing what God has recently done in your life.
  • Like the leader of the synagogue in the gospel? - unable to recognise God at work because our religious baggage gets in the way

Meditation: Old Age

Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 81. This goes well with the Psalm.

Taize Service: Prophetic voices
Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 42. This is based on the Jeremiah reading.

Prayer Exercise: Scribble Prayers
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 62.  This is based on the Psalm.

Creative Ideas: Jeremiah: The Prophet of Judgement
Found in Multi-Sensory Prophets by Mike Law, Scripture Union, 2007, ISBN 9781844272587, page 29. This is based on the Jeremiah reading.

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