Sunday, February 11, 2018

Lent 3 B (March 04): Turning the World Upside Down/The Take a Gander Psalm

Bible readings: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 1:18-23, John 2:13-22

About the images:
Upper Left: This one is mine so use as you wish for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: This one comes from Cerezo Barredo's weekly gospel illustrations which are always well embedded into our modern lives as you can see from this one. You can find Cerezo Barredo's illustrations matching up to the weekly lectionary via or via

Middle Left: This is a free image from the Heartlight site - see my links column to the left

Middle Right: This is my image with text from the New Living Translation.  The image is of Chambers Pillar and Castle Rock ( Please feel free to use the image for worship and related activities. Lower Left: This is my image of the Temple model found at the Jerusalem Museum.  This image is useful for the conversation about the Temple in John 2:19-22. Please feel free to use this image for worship and related activities. 


Try upsetting everything at the front of your worship space before people arrive. Scatter a few coins around and a few broken wooden crates as well. A word of warning though: we had a member of the congregation arrive early - we only just managed to stop her ringing the police because she thought vandals had entered during the night. It is a confronting sight and brings home to the congregation the enormity of what Jesus did.

Kid's Story

Have four large card faces - a happy one, a sad one, an angry one and a shocked one. Tell the kids and the congregation that they have a response to make for each card - for the happy one they are to shout "hurray", for the sad one they are to say "Oh no!", for the angry one they are to growl and for the shocked one they are to say "what!?". Then have someone either read or tell the gospel story for today and as you hold up the appropriate face cards for the different parts of the story the congregation and the kids will respond with the appropriate expression. (Hope this makes sense - it was a bit hard to explain :-) )

Film Clip: John 2:13-22
Found in the Gospel of John by the Visual Bible Society (pictured at left). A word for word version on John in the Good News translation . It is excellent!!!!

Psalm 19
This psalm particularly lends itself to a series of projected images as it is read.

Ask people to shut their eyes and think about Jesus.
What does he look like?
What colour are his eyes? What colour is his hair?
How does he look?
Ask people to describe their picture of Jesus to the person sitting next to them.
Then show them the image: The Angry Christ by Lino Pontebon. This image can be found in The Bible through Asian Eyes by Masao Takenaka and Ron O'Grady,Pace, 1991 (pictured at right).
Ask them to discuss what they think of this picture with the person beside them?
How do you feel about this picture?
N.B. If you can't get hold of this image (which is excellent), any image of an angry Jesus in the temple will work almost as well. The Pontebon image works so well because t is only of Jesus' face.

Meditation Question (accompanied with thinking music):
Where do you think Jesus might like to overturn the tables in
A) your life,
B) your church, and
C) your community?

Response Activity/Meditation: I Believe
Have a Christ candle burning, a heap of tapers and a bowl of sand for lit tapers. Give everyone an A5 copy (use parchment paper if possible so they have a nice keepsake copy) of I Believe by Roddy Hamilton, 1999. This is a beautiful creed which can be found at Allow people time to read it. Ask them to note the part they like best and then, as it is read out aloud, to light a taper at the front of the worship space when the reader gets to their favourite phrase or sentence.

Response Activity: Which Room?
I think I based this activity on a tiny little book I was given about 30 years ago which I have long since lost - I think it was called My Heart, Christ's Home.
If you compare your spiritual life to the rooms in a house, in which room of your house do you think Jesus might like to overturn the tables:
1. The kitchen - your appetites and desires
2. The veranda - the place you relax and hang out in
3. The bedroom wardrobe - your secret hangups
4. The study - your reading material
5. The garage - your gifts, skills and talents
6. The lounge room - your relationships
Seeing houses vary all over the world, you may have to change this to suit your culture and housing style.


Kids: Gabriella's Song
By Candace Fleming and Giselle Potter, Simon and Schuster,  with lots of ideas for a whole worship service found in Worship is For Everyone by Julie Pinazza, Openbook Publishers, 2000, ISBN 0859109259, page 25. This goes well with the Psalm reading.

Prayer Exercise: Praying in Nature
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 56.  This is based on the Psalm reading.

Opening and Closing Responses for Lent
By Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill in Eggs and Ashes, Wild Goose Publications, 2004, page 81. 

Reading: Bird's Eye View
By Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill in Eggs and Ashes, Wild Goose Publications, 2004, page 145. 

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