Sunday, August 13, 2017

Proper 15 Ordinary 20 A (August 20): Getting Along

Bible Readings: Genesis 45:1-15, Psalm 133, Romans 11:1,2a,29-32, Matthew 15: (10-20)21-28.

About the Images:

Upper Left: This is a free microsoft clipart image .
Upper Right: This is also a free microsoft clipart image. I added the words from Bruce Prewer's version of Psalm 133 which can be found at
Lower Left:This is a free clipart from Cerezo Barredo  You can find a link to this site at the left in my Links column.
Lower Right: This is a free clip art fro the Hermano Leon site. See my link column at left. 

Introduction: Gathering
Found in Ideas for Worship, June to July 1996, JBCE, page 16 (pictured at left) . This introduction is based on the gospel reading.

Listening Song: What You Need
(pictured at right) By Audio Adrenaline on their self titled album. This song goes well with the gospel reading.

Listening Song: Turn
(pictured at left) By Paul Colman Trio on their album,
New Map of the World. This goes well with the psalm.

Object Lesson: The Words We Speak: Constructive or Destructive
Found in Fresh Ideas Volume 2 by Jim Burns and Mark Simone, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 083718842, page 66. This goes well with the gospel reading.

Kid's Activity During the Service

Give everyone in the congregation a length of streamer and get them to each put their name on the streamer. Ask the kids to collect them and then ask whether the individual streamers are representative of a church community united or not. Ask for ideas as to how this could occur (fish for the "making a chain out of them" answer). Have them make the streamers into a chain during the service and use it as a decoration near the end of the service. This goes well with the idea of family unity and reunion in the Genesis reading.

Activity for Psalm 133
Ask people to complete the sentence "when people get along it is better than....."

 Film Clip: Music of the Heart
(pictured at left) Show the clip where the little disabled girl thinks she is too weak to play and her teacher (Meryl Streep) tells her that she is strong on the inside. Relate it to the Caananite woman in the gospel who, to all appearances, starts off in a weak position.

Film Clip: Men in Black

(pictured at right). Show the clip about 25 minutes in when the recruits begin their exam and finish when all the recruits are sitting staring at Edwards. This is a great clip which shows what happens when we do our own thing instead of building community.

Film Clip: Taika Waititi on Racism
Fid this excellent clip at

Drama: Faith

Found in Parable Performing by Kristin Etscheid, Hodder and Stoughton, 1985,ISBN 0340336676, page 36 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Drama: Clouded Thinking
Narrator: Reads Psalm 133 and then says "The best part of life is knowing God is loving me and blessing me". Two people standing back to back have the following conversation:

1: Sometimes I don’t feel as good as that….particularly when I remember what happened.

2: I can’t get over it…I’ll never forgive her! I must keep my self-respect.

1: Sometimes the anger just burns me up.

2: I feel so depressed …… I don’t know what about…just feels like I have a big rock inside me weighing me down.

1: I miss her so much

2: I think I’ll really let her have it. I’ll tell her exactly what I think of her.

1: I know I was right and that’s all that matters to me.

2: What have I got to lose…she doesn’t like me anyway.
Everything she says hurts me…
1: I’m so lonely.

2: She can do it my way or not at all.

1: Nothing’s going to change until she apologises.

2: If only we were friends again.

1: If only she liked me….(sigh) no wonder she doesn’t like me.

2: I’m an idiot.

1: Now I’m angry with everyone. I’m starting to dislike people on sight. I don’t even know if Jesus is there any more

2: And now it’s finished. Is that what I wanted?

Copyright: Ann Scull

Discussion: Re above drama
1. What is happening in this skit?
2. Do you see a connection with the Genesis story?
3. How could this situation be resolved?

Discussion: On the Matthew reading
1. In what ways does this story confront your traditions and prejudices?
2. When has an outsider challenged or helped your faith?
3. How do we prevent ourselves becoming insular or exclusive as a congregation?

Story: Me Too!

Found in Still More Hot Illustrations For Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 115  (pictured at right).

Story: Acceptance

Story No. 2 in 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers edited by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Baker Books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551 .

Prayer: My Souls Desire
Found in Celtic Prayers by Robert Van de Weyer, Bridgewater Book Company, 1997, ISBN 1856082814, page 37 (pictured at right). This fits well with all the readings.


Drama: When Two Or More
Found in All-age Sketches for the Christian Year by Peter Shaw, The Bible reading Fellowship, 2006, ISBN 101841014583, page 44 ff. This is based on the psalm reading.

Meditation: The Peacemakers
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 89. This goes well with the Psalm 133 reading.

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