Sunday, September 18, 2016

Proper 21 Ordinary 26 C (September 25): Seeing the Bigger Picture/ Contentment?

Bible Readings: Jeremiah 32:1-3a, 6-15, Psalm 91:1-6,14-16, 1 Timothy 6:6-19, Luke 16:19-31

About the images:
Upper Left:
A microsoft free clipart image with Nathan Nettleton's text (see for wonderful Australian paraphrases of the lectionary readings)
Upper Right: Copyright (C) 2001, Free Software Foundation, Inc. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this image under the terms found at
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

Prayer: A
Litany of Confession
Found in Resources for Preaching and Worship - Year C compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild, Westminster John Knox Press, 2003, ISBN 066422508X, page 255 (pictured at left).

Kids: Jeremiah
The Jeremiah story is full of emotion - sadness, fear, contempt, ridicule, anger, hope. Tell the story and ask the kids, at set points in the story, to reflect the emotion you have mentioned, either through their facial expressions or through their hands. Do it with them. You may need to practice first at home, so you have an idea of what to encourage the shyer kids to do. I have discovered that it doesn't take much to involve the whole congregation in this type of activity - and you will find that if you do it before the Bible reading, the adults develop a far better understanding of the reading than they would have if you had not done it.

Listening Song: Whomsoever Dwells
By Sinead O'Connor on her album, Theology (pictured at right). This is basically a sung version of Psalm 91

Listening Song: The Power of the Gospel
By Ben Harper on his album, Fight for Your Mind (pictured at left). The title of this song says it all.

Video Clip: Chariots of Fire

(pictured at right) Chapter 19: The conversation between the discontented Harold and his friend, Aubrey This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Discussion Questions: Chariots of Fire
1. Describe a time when you felt contentment.
2. How often do you feel this way?

3. How do you find contentment?
4. What desires, besides the desire for more money or more possessions, keeps a person from feeling contented.

Video Clip: Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Show the clip where Walter Raleigh explains to Elizabeth how he lives out his hope when he is sailing unchartered waters. I found this clip at Wingclips (see my links column at left). This goes really well with the Jeremiah reading.

Discussion: Elizabeth: The Golden Age
1. How does Raleigh live his faith and hope while at sea? What tools does he use?
2. How do we live our faith and hope? What tools can we use?

Drama: Sunbaking
Found in Mega Drama 6 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109208, page 16 (pictured at right). This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Story: Money
Found as story No 175 in Your Point Being? by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003 (pictured at left). This is a very funny story about a wallet eating train toilet (book is pictured in an earlier blog). This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Story: Courage
Index 849-852 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. This can also be found at - scroll down to section 2E. This fits well with the psalm or with the Jeremiah reading.

Story: What are You Afraid of?
Index 856-859 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990 or it can be found at
This goes well with either the psalm or the Jeremiah reading.

Response Activity:
Ask people to form small groups and give each group a few textas and a large sheet of paper with the words: "Real contentment is found......". When they have finished, stick the sheets up around the worship space and give people time to walk around and read all the sheets.

Response Activity:

Ask: If you had a chance to tell somebody how to find real contentment in this life, what would you say? give people a chance to think about this and then ask them to tell three other people what their answer would be.

Response Activity:

For the Jeremiah readingSet up three stations so that people can move around from station to station. Allow at least ten minutes for this activity. My three stations based on my service and what I said were:
1. There is a bigger picture - at this station put out coloured bookmarks for people to take and read to themselves. Each one should have Bruce Prewer's A Creed printed on it. This lovely poem/creed can be found at
2. Grasp hold of and trust God now - I used the art space in our church (but any space and pin board of some sort will do) for this station. Lay out lots of pictures, postcards and prints. Ask people to choose an image which symbolises for them grasping hold of and trusting God and ask them to pin their chosen image on the display board.
3. Living your faith and hope - at this station set out pens, envelopes and paper and a small clay jar which can be sealed (try an Op shop for one of these - there is sure to be something like it). Ask people to write a hope that they intend to live for a) themselves b) their church and c) their community or the world. Then ask them to seal their note in an envelope, put their name on the front and put it in the jar. After everybody has finished, seal up the be opened in a year or so.

Poem and Prayers: your locked door

great prayer and collect and poem found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 176. To order a copy of this excellent book email

Adult Response: Charity Begins at Home?

Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year C by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2012, ISBN 9781921945083, page 137.   This is based on the gospel reading.

Meditation: What is of Lating Value

Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 49. This goes well with the Timothy reading.

Kids: The Pig in the Pond
By Martin Waddell and Jill Barton, Walker Books,  with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 35. This goes well with the Psalm reading.

Creative Ideas: Jeremiah: The Prophet of Hope
Found in Multi-Sensory Prophets by Mike Law, Scripture Union, 2007, ISBN 9781844272587, page 37. This is based on the Jeremiah reading.

All Sorts of Useful Stuff: Long Division
By Ian Birkinshaw in Multi-Sensory Parables, Scripture Union, 2006, ISBN 9781844272310, page 71.  This is based on the Gospel. 

Worship Resources: Wht Does My Wallet Ache?
Found in Multi-Sensory World by Craig Borlase, Scripture Union/Tear Fund, 2008, ISBN 9781844272662, page 52. This goes with the Timothy reading.

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