Bible Readings: Genesis 29:15-28, Psalm 105:1-11, 45b or Psalm 128, Romans 8:26-39, Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free microsoft clipart image on which I have placed the Biblical text.
Upper Right: This is a free Cerezo Barredo image - see my link column at left.
Lower Left and Right: These are free Heartlight images - see my link column at left.
Listening Song: Father of Lights
By Randy Stonehill on his album, Thirst (pictured at left) or on Nothing But Pop. This makes a great response to the gospel reading.
Give everyone in the congregation two binder rings (a tad hard to find these days but still available in large stationary shops) locked together and ask people to see if they can pull them apart without undoing them. Unless you have Samson (complete with hair) in your congregation, nobody should be able to do it. Relate this to us and God - God sticks with us.
Kid's Story: The Precious Pearl
By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, found originally as an individual book (pictured at right), Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1986, ISBN 0551012781; and lately in Stories Jesus Told (pictured at right) by the above authors, Candle books, 2005, ISBN 101859855881.
Drama: Mustard Seeds and mountains
Found in Let's Make a Scene by Verena Johnson, Lutheran Publishing House, page 42 (pictured at left) . This drama is based on the gospel reading.
Story: A Solitary Life
Just google the title and you will come up with hundreds of versions of this story, however a useful and succinct one is found at http://www.allsaintsmtka.org/worship/Sermons/2002/2002-07-28.cfm
Story: The New Narnia
Found in The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, Penguin, 1964, page 154 (pictured at right) or last page of chapter 15 in other editions.
Story: The Art Auction
Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 120 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the gospel reading.
Story: View of the High Country
Found in When God Whispers Your Name by Max Lucado, Word, 1996, ISBN 0849913241, page 191 (pictured at right). Lucado links this story with the Romans reading.
What are the special promises which God makes to us that will get us through tough times?
Give everyone a small card with a mustard seed (or a pearl if you are rich enough ;-)) attached and the relevant verse printed out and ask people to write on the back of the card the characteristic of God's realm that they cannot live without.
Drama: Nothing Can Separate Us From God's Love
Found in Welcome Mat by Beth Barnett, Scripture Union Victoria, page 176. The book gives no more publishing details that I can share with you. However it is excellent and packed full of resources for all age worship and can be bought from Scripture Union Victoria. 157 Heidelberg Road, Northcote, Victoria 3070, Australia.
Kids: The Magic Saddle
By Christobel Mattingly and Patricia Mullins with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 2. This goes well with the Matthew reading.
Kids: The Tiny Seed
By Eric Carle with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 2. This goes well with the gospel.
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 Romans reading.