Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lent 1 A (March 5): Temptations Are Not Sins/ Created to Walk With God





















Bible Readings: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, Psalm 32, Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11.

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a Microsoft free clipart image with my text.
Upper Right: This is  my photo of the remains of the Trumpeting Place - where priests trumpeted the beginning and end of the Sabbath from the Second temple.  It is believed this is where Jesus' second temptation took place. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.

Lower Left:  This is a free image from the Heartlight site.  See my link column at left.
Lower Right: A free Microsoft clipart image with a line from the Susan Aston song You Move Me (see below)

Listening Song: You Move Me
By Susan Ashton from her album, A Distant Call (pictured at left) or on the album, Nothing But Pop. This song goes well with all the readings - I used it with the Romans reading as a call to worship.


Kid's Story: Arabella
By Wendy Orr and Kim Gamble, Angus and Robertson, 1998, ISBN 0207199043 (pictured at right). When you have read the story discuss a few of these questions with the kids:
1.What did Matthew think was the most important thing in Grandpa's life before the storm and during the storm?
2. What did he think might happen if the Arabella was lost?
3. What did he discover was really the most important thing in Grandpa's life?
4. How is the story a bit like us and God?


Discussion:
Have different groups discuss just one of the three temptations (there are a million ways to divide a congregation up to do this) but use the same question for everyone:
What is the need/yearning/desire that is at the heart of this temptation?
Share findings after the discussion.

Film
Clip: City Slickers
(pictured at left) Use the scene of the conversation following Phil's break down in front of his friends when confronting the drunken cow hands. This links in well with the Romans reading (see discussion questions following).


Discussion: City Slicker film clip
Billy Crystal's character tells Phil that his life is a clean slate, a 'do-over", but Phil questions our ability to do this. What do you think?


Bible reading: Romans 5:12-21
In this reading, Paul contrasts our relationship with God (exemplified by Adam) with what a difference Jesus makes to this relationship. To make it clearer I printed out the reading with the Adam (us) bits in plain type and the Jesus making a difference bits in bold type.

Story: Here Comes the Cat
!
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 61 (pictured at right). This story links in well with the Romans reading.

Story: The Face on the Puzzle
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 66 (pictured at left). This story links well with the Romans reading.

Adult Response: For the Gospel reading
Ask people to write down a temptation which distracts them from following Jesus. While appropriate music plays, ask people to lay what they have written at the foot of a cross as a representation that they will leave their temptation in Jesus' hands.

Adult Response: For Lent
I am not sure where this first option below comes from. If you know, please let me know so I can give credit where it is due. I gave people two options to choose from as follows:

1. Give everyone a small (two or three inches square) craft box. Give each person a sheet of paper with forty words which are linked to Lent and Easter, eg., truth, grace, love, courage etc. Ask them to cut out the forty words, shuffle them and put them in the box. Encourage them to take out one word a day and follow the instructions they have written onto the box. Lid instructions are as follows: Spend time praying, thinking about, reflecting on, writing down or drawing today's word and how it impinges on your relationship with God.


2. Print off the lectionary readings for Lent and Easter - one Sunday per A5 page. Underneath the readings print the following two questions: What is the Good News in these readings? What is the challenge for me, for my church and for me in my community, in these readings,? Leave the rest of the page blank for responses. Provide some A5 card, a hole punch and some ribbon and ask people to assemble a Lenten Journal. Encourage them to read through the weekly readings and work through the questions as they travel through Lent.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Transfiguration A (February 26): Finding God





Bible Readings: Exodus 24:12-18, Psalm 2 or Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9.

About the images:
Upper Left: I took this photo in the Australian high country where it snows in winter.  sometimes the light up there is really amazing and the mountains seem to glow. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities - for more information on the High Country visit: http://www.visitvictoria.com/displayobject.cfm/objectid.00034C30-86B8-1ED6-869180C476A90000/) .
Upper Right: This is also my photo with biblical text added. This photo is taken looking down Duck Arm (to where we live) on the Gippsland Lakes (for more info: http://www.gippslandtourism.com.au/Gippsland-Lakes/).  Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image.  Please see my links column at left.
Lower Right: This a is a free image from the wonderful Church galleries site - see my link column to the left.

Listening Song: Shine
By the Newsboys on their album, Going Public (pictured at left) or on WOW 1996. This song uses words from the gospel reading.

Listening Song: Jubilate
By Robert Prizeman on the album, Libera (pictured at right). I used this with the Adult Response below.

Kid's Story: Westlandia
By
Paul Fleischman (Author), Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator), Candlewick Press, ISBN 9780763600068 (pictured at left).

Discussion:
Share a time when you have experienced the presence of God?


Film Clip: The Work of Musalaha
This film clip is about the Musalaha (Reconciliation) organisation in the Holy Land  which brings together Christians, Jews and Muslims.  They cut through the fear and disconnection and distraction of all that is going on in this divided Land and they talk and act out hope and love and dreams.  Their actions transfigure their world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCLSk0HzQs0

Story: The Job Applicant
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261,
page 126 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Matthew reading.


Story: The Boy and the Circus
Found in Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Youth Specialties Inc, 1994, ISBN 031040261, page 56 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Matthew reading.


Adult Response:
Give every one a pencil and a card with a mountain pictured on it.
Suggest: Let's think of ways we can "climb the mountain" and put ourselves in places where God can reveal His presence to us. Have a minute or so in silence. Play a piece of thinking music - Jubilate (above) works really well. Use the card to write a prayer, draw a picture, compose a poem or put down a resolution. Not sure where I got this idea from - let me know if it's not mine.

Poem and prayer: transfiguration.
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 18 (pictured at left).  These are based on the gospel reading.


Also:
Response Activity: Seeing the Face of God

Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together: Year A by Andrew Collis and Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Mediacom, Adelaide, 2010, ISBN 9780949656919, page 48ff (pictured at right). This is based on the Gospel reading and the old Testament reading.




Lots of Useful StuffFound in The Abingdon Creative Preaching Annual by Jenee Woodard (Ed.), Abingdon Press, Nashville, 2013, page 53ff.













Saturday, February 11, 2017

Epiphany 7 A (February 19): Living Generously











Bible Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18, Psalm 119: 33-40, 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23, Matthew 5:38-48.

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free Heartlight image. You can visit their site via my links column on the left of this page.
Upper Right: This image is from the Hermano Leon free clip art site (see my links at the left of this page). I like the open hand versus the clenched fist idea.
Lower Left: This is from the Church Galleries site (see my links column at left)

Kid's Story: Change Your Enemy into Your Friend

Found in The Lectionary Story Bible, Woodlake , 2009, ISBN 9781551455471, pages 65-66 (pictured at right) . This story is based on the gospel reading.

Film Clip:
Wondrous Oblivion
(pictured at left) This is a great clip about a Jewish boy in England who, although suffering some discrimination himself, discriminates against a Jamaican girl who has kindly taught him to play cricket. The scene I chose is one where he tries to make amends for his behaviour. See the clip at
Making Amends - Movie Clip from Wondrous Oblivion at WingClips.com

Drama: This is the Word of the Lord
 Found in Mega Drama 1 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book Publishers, 2001, ISBN 0859109151, page 27 (pictured at right). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Story: Music in a New Place
Found in When You Walk by Adrian Plass, The Bible Reading Fellow
ship, 1997, ISBN 0745935524, page 18 (pictured at left) . This story is based on the gospel reading.


Story and Response Activity: Sometimes it is Really Hard to Love
Found in Bringing the Word To Life Together by Dorothy McRae- McMahon and Andrew Collis, Mediacom, 2010, ISBN 9780949656919, page 44 (pictured at right). This is based on the gospel reading.
Poem: A Hymn of Imperfection
By Joy Cowley and found in Resources for Preaching and Worship Year A compiled by Hannah Ward and Jennifer Wild. Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, ISBN 0664225071, page 74 (pictured at left). This is just a delight and goes beautifully with the prayer response below.

Prayer Response: Praying for our Enemies
Found in Forbid Them Not Year A by Carolyn C Brown, Abingdon Press, 1992, ISBN 068713255X, page 53 (pictured at left). I know, I know, this is supposed to be an activity for the kids but with the Poem (above) attached to it instead of the word puzzle; it makes a very thought provoking prayer activity for adults


Sunday, February 05, 2017

Epiphany 6 A ((February 12): Heart stuff

























Bible Readings: Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Psalm 119:1-8, 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, Mathew 5:21-37

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is my image of Sturt desert Peas which grow in Central Australia. I also used this image for part of the poem The Law of Christ (see below). Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: This is my image of Mt Sinai in Egypt with a piece of text from the poem The Law of Christ (see below). Please feel free to us this image for worship and related activities.
Lower Left: This is a free image from Heartlight - see my link column at left

Lower Right:

Film Clip: Tangled
(pictured at left) This is a great little clip for use with the gospel reading - particularly the part about anger and reconciliation. For this purpose it works best if you stop it at the bells and leave out the last kick - or talk specifically about that last kick in the light of what Jesus says about going to those who have/feel something against you.

Drama: What should I Do?
Found in Let's Make Another Scene by Verena Johnson, Open Book Publishers, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 26 (pictured at right). This drama is based on the Deuteronomy reading.

Drama: The Clean-Up
Found in Creative Worship Ideas by Lois Keffer, Group, 1993, ISBN 1559450991, page 55 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Story: Great Babies

Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 79 (pictured at right). This story is based on the Corinthians reading.

Story: Who Could Be More Important than the President?
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 177 (pictured at left). This story links in well with the gospel reading.

Story: Divorce by Instant Text Messaging
Found in Incredible Illustrations by Mikal Keefer, Group Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0764426141, page 47 (pictured at right). This news article is linked with the gospel reading - please do not use it as an excuse to show up any other religion - the point of the illustration should be to show how flimsy and undervalued are many of our relationships - marriage or otherwise - whoever we are and wherever we come from.











Poem: The Law of Christ
Found in The Electric Bible by Peter Dainty, Kevin Mayhew, 2003, ISBN 1844170411, page 85 (pictured at left). This poem is based on the gospel reading. I put the words with images and used the following backing music:

Backing: Raver
By Burial on the album Untrue (pictured at right).