Sunday, July 22, 2018

Proper 12 Ordinary 17 B (July 29): When things Get Out of Hand/ We all have Gifts/The Church

Bible Readings: 2 Samuel 11:1-15, Psalm 14, John 6:1-21, Ephesians 3:14-21

About the Images:

Upper Left: When Things Get out of Hand: Although we checked this river for depth we missed a hole and got out of our depth - in a car without a snorkle! - needless to say it has one now :-) This photo was taken near the eastern edge of the Baw Baw National Park near the Aberfeldy River. For more info on this area, please visit
Upper Right: We All Have Gifts: Church members using their gifts - a toilet is installed/replaced at Seldom Seen in the bushfire ravaged Victorian High country. The work party came from Lara, eight hours drive from Seldom Seen. Both these photos are mine so please feel free to use them for worship or related activities.
Middle Left: This is a free image from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left
Middle Right: This is a wordle I created on Jesus' words in the gospel reading.  Please feel free to use for worship or related activities.
Lower Left: Another free image from Heartlight - see my link column at left

For the Samuel Reading: When things Get Out of Hand

Listening Song: In the Light
By dc Talk on their album, Jesus Freak (pictured at right)

Kids story: When things got out of hand
Tell a story from your own childhood when you tried to cover up what went wrong and things got worse! We all have these stories and kids just love to hear adults tell honest stories about their own childhood. Ask the kids what went wrong and what you could have done to improve your situation. Then link your story to David and the way he tried to cover up what he had done and how each time he tried to cover up, there was more to explain away and cover up.

Film Clip: The Library
Found on The Amazing Adventures of Mr Bean Volume 1, Tiger Television 1990.
Discussion questions: For Mr Bean and David
What went wrong?
What could he have done instead?
How does he let things get out of hand?
How can we avoid the same mistakes?
What do we know that gives us hope?

Drama: No Big Deal
NB I wrote this about ten years ago to fit with the above clip. I notice now that there are lots of "Australianisms"; so, if you come from somewhere other than Australia, please feel free to adapt the script accordingly.
B: Well, g'day, this is Radio Triple B’s Talk-back Help Line and our first caller this morning is….
D: King David.
B: Good morning …. umm, you’ll have to speak up a little. I didn’t quite catch your name. David King was it?
D: Yeah, that’ll do.
B: Well, what’s your topic for discussion this morning?
D: I think I’m in a bit of a mess and I can’t work out just how it happened.
B: Perhaps you’d like to tell us about it.
D: Well, it all started when the army went off without me.
B: Without you? Isn’t that slightly irregular?
D: Well, I just thought I’d hang around home for a few more days. It was no big deal really. They’re very capable, you know. Joab is a fine leader. They can get on without me. Anyway, late one arvo after I’d had a nap, I went out onto the balcony to get a little fresh air…… and that’s when I saw her.
B: Saw who?
D: Bathsheba (though I didn’t know her name then). She was having a bath and she was so beautiful that I couldn’t take my eyes off her.
B: You didn’t think that your peeping Tom behaviour was rather inappropriate?
D: Aw, it was no big deal. I was just having a bit of a look – who was it hurting? Anyway, I sent one of my servants over to find out who she was.
B: Why?
D: I just wanted to find out who she was! It was no big deal. Anyway the servant came back and not only told me who she was but also told me that she was married to one of my soldiers, Uriah Hittite. So, I got my servant to nick back and invite her over.
B: You invited her over when you knew she was married?
D: Yeah, I just wanted to see her close up. It was no big deal. …… She was so beautiful ….. Anyway, one thing led to another and we ….
B: Yes, yes, we can all imagine what happened next.
D: Actually, (sounds puzzled) this is where things seem to start going really haywire because after a few months she arrives on my doorstep to announce that she's pregnant! I couldn’t believe my bad luck! Then I had this brilliant idea. I’d just call her husband, Uriah, back from the war front and nobody would be any the wiser.
B: And Uriah would think the baby was his?
D: Yeah, I just wanted to keep everything nice. It was no big deal. Trouble was that Uriah is so blinking honest – he didn’t want to sleep with her while all his mates were back at the front fighting and risking their lives so he slept down at the barracks. Would you believe it!!!!? Bit odd if you ask me.
B: So…..?
D: So I came up with another even more brilliant idea. I’d invite Uriah over for drinks and dinner and get him so drunk he’d forget all about his mates and be off home like a shot.
B: Wasn’t that rather dishonest?
D: Not really. Think about it! I wasn’t going to do the drinking. I was just being a wonderful host – it’s not my fault if my guests over indulge. It’s no big deal. Anyway (sigh) it didn’t work. He got drunk alright but he still went and slept at the barracks.
B: Hmm. So this is your “bit of a mess” is it?
D: Well, actually that’s not the end of the story. Seeing that all my well-intentioned plans had failed, I decided that the only thing left to do was to actually get rid of Uriah once and for all. So, I arranged for him to take a letter back to Joab instructing Joab to put him where the fighting was thickest. I knew Uriah wouldn’t read it because, as I said, he’s just so blinking honest! I was so tired of it all. I just wanted to be finished with the whole silly business. It was no big deal really. Uriah had been putting his life on the line at the war front for years. We all knew that his luck would run out one day. I just made it sooner rather than later. It’s no big deal.
B: You keep saying that.
D: What?
B: It’s no big deal.
D: Well, it’s not. Uriah has died a hero. I’ve married Bathsheba and we’re very happy …….. (trails off)
B: So why did you ring?
D: Because, because ….. (sort of breaking down) it’s all such a terrible mess. To tell the truth, it’s a nightmare!!
C. Ann Scull

For the John Reading: We all Have Gifts

Listening Song: Day by Day
By dc Talk on their album Jesus Freak (pictured above)

Kid's Story: Little big gifts
Retell the gospel story and ask the kids whether they thought the little boy offered his lunch to Andrew or whether Andrew saw him with it. Discuss how difficult or easy they find it is to offer help to adults. Attach a gift rosette to each child in church to encourage them to see themselves as special gifts to everybody - give them extra rosettes to hand out to those adults they sit near so that they see that we are all gifts to each other.

Interesting Quote:
“It is hard to b be brave” said Piglet, sniffing slightly, “when you’re only a Very Small Animal”.
Rabbit, who had begun to write very busily, looked up and said:
“It is because you are a very small animal that you will be Useful in the adventure before us”
A.A.Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh, Methuen, 1928, page 84 (pictured at right)

For the Ephesians reading: The Church

Kid's Time: Awesome God
In Fun Group Devotions for Children’s Ministry, Group Publishing,1993, page 14 (pictured at left)

Film Clip: We Were Soldiers (2002)
You need a DVD for this because the scene, entitled "The Church" is in the Special Features: Deleted Scenes chapter. It is a compelling scene and links in very well with the reading

Drama: Who Do Say That I Am
Found in Let's Make Another Scene 3 by Verena Johnson, Open Book, 1995, ISBN 0859107620, page 31 (pictured at right).

Story: The Smallest Power Bill
The story web site where I originally got this story from has disappeared and I can no longer source it. If somebody knows where it comes from could they please let me know.
'The story is told of a Welsh woman who lived in a remote valley in Wales. She went to a great deal of trouble to have electrical power installed in her home. They noticed she didn't use very much electricity at all. In fact, her usage was minuscule. They sent a meter reader out to check on the matter. The man came to the door and said, "We've looked at the amount. Don't you use electricity?" "Oh yes" she said. "We turn it on every night to see how to light our lamps and then we switch it off again."'

Story: Power
Found in Your Point Being by Graham H. Twelftree, Monarch, 2003, Story 196 (pictured at left)

Story: Valentine's Day

Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, page 145 (pictured at right)

Story: Jesus is in My Heart
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, page 77 (pictured at right).

Meditation/Response Activity:
Either ask people to shut their eyes or give each person a piece of self hardening clay and while they work at making a symbol of what their congregation means to them, ask them to think about the following:
Think of a person that you love very much.
Thank God for this person.
Remind yourself that God loves you far more than you love that person.
Thank God for loving you.
Now think of a person, maybe in this congregation, who you find very annoying - maybe to the point where you do not even like them.
Remind yourself that God loves them as much as God loves you.
Pray for this person.


Prayer Exercise: Sacred Prayer Postures
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 28.  This is based on the Ephesians reading.

No comments: