Friday, July 06, 2018

Proper 10 B (July 15): Listening to God's Voice


Bible Readings: 2 Samuel 6: 1-5, 12b-19, Psalm 24, Ephesians 1:3-14, Mark 6: 14-29

About the images:
Upper Left:
is This is a photo of a replica of the ark of the covenant I took while in the Holy Land. Please feel free to use it for worship or related activities.
Upper Right: This is my image (my husband's ear actually) so feel free to use it or adapt it as you wish for worship and related activities.
Middle Left: This is a free Microsoft clipart image with my text.
Middle Right: This is my photo of a beach on Norfolk Island.  It reminded me of the line in Psalm 24: You raised the lands above the seas.....
Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image - see my link column at left

Ideas to Go With the Psalm:

Psalm 24
It is very easy to find great images to go with the words of this psalm (see above)

Ideas to Go With the Mark Reading:

Listening Song: Gravity
By Delirious? on their album Mezzamorphis, Curious? Music UK, 1999 (pictured at right)

Call to Worship/Story: The Lesson
This story makes a great call to worship. It is found in Still More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1999, ISBN 0310224640, page 170 (pictured at left).

Kids: The Emperor's New Clothes
A great old Hans Christian Anderson story that encourages kids to choose God's truth over what the world may be accepting as the truth. My version is a Magnet Book, Great Britain, 1985, ISBN 041697080X, however this story is available in a multitude of places and books, and no doubt, in some forgotten recess of your own brain. 

Drama: Let There Be Light
People: God said “Let there be light, so light that candle.”
Person 2 (enters wearing fire helmet): Why are you touching that candle!
People: God said to me “Let there be light, so light that candle.”
Person 2:You can’t do that!
Person 1: Why not? We need a symbol of God’s light, and here it is.
People: God said to me “Let there be light, so light that candle.”
Person 2: But there are professionals to do this kind of thing.
You need to get a proper fireman to do that.
People: God said to me “Let there be light, so light that candle.
Person 2: And there could be all kinds of fire restricttions,
insurance considerations and what about all the occupational health and safety regulations. Has the stand for that candle been properly inspected? (both look) If you’re a Christian, you care about people and you won’t want them to get hurt. How can you consider taking risks with other people’s safety!
People: God said to me “Let there be light, so light that candle.”.
Person 3: Hey! what about that match you’re holding. (All
look at match) Do you understand how it works.(Horrified) And you’re not even wearing regulation gloves or safety helmet! We don’t have rules and regulations for nothing! If you’re a Christian you’ll act responsibly. You’ll study the rules. (hands big book) Here, this is Volume 1.
Person 2:No, call a fireman! There’s nothing worse than a christian who thinks he’s superman.
Person 3:No, you don’t need an fireman. But surely you need to understand how a match works and how we got to this point of being a symbolic society. Study the history of candles. People who don’t understand history will just make all the old mistakes again. Nothing worse than Christians who won’t learn.
People: God said to me “Let there be light, so light that candle.”
Person 4: Well that’s all good and fine, but what about the environment. What sort of a Christian are you – just happily using power without a thought for the world’s resources. Nothing worse than Christians who don’t care about justice issues.(Person 1 begins to light candle)
Person 5: (appalled) What are you doing?
Person 1:I’m lighting the candle!
Person 5: But you can’t do that!
Person 1:Why not?
Person 5: Because I was promised that that candle was only for special occasions - and now you’re breaking that promise. How can a Christian break a promise and still live with himself?
Person 1: Look – all I want is the answer to two questions: 
a. How do you tell the difference between what God thinks is right and what we think is right? and 
b. And how many Christians DOES it take to light a candle?
Copyright: Rosemary Broadstock and Ann Scull.  Please feel free to adapt to fit your church and culture.

Group Discussion:
Divide congregations into groups and give each group a situation on a card eg "I have to take shortcuts to keep my boss happy. They are not illegal shortcuts but they are a bit unethical" or " I've been invited to sit with the cool group at school but they only want me, not my friends" or "My husband reckons I've gone overboard with the church thing. I want to join a study group but he reckons that's just overdoing it - once a week on Sunday is all God wants. Now I can't decide." etc etc.
Ask them to answer the following questions in the light of the particular situation on their card.
1. What are the choices?
2. What are the consequences?
3.What would a disciple do?

Story: Courage
Found in Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching by Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, 1993, page 36 (pictured at right).

Ideas to Go With the Ephesians Reading:

Listening Song: King of Glory
By Third day on their album, Offerings (pictured at left)

Film Clip: The Family That Preys
(pictured at left) There is a really useful scene in this film when Alice and Charlotte are speaking together in the church. Charlotte wonders just how extensive God's forgiveness is and if there are limits to it. She doubts herself and God; and Alice tries to reassure her. 

Discussion: The Family That Preys
1. Is Charlotte fine?
2. Does God forgive us for all our previous sins?
3. How does God reassure us?

CD and Story:
Tell the story of Vedran Smailovic playing his cello in Serajevo after the killing of 22 innocent people while Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor (the piece he played) plays in the background. You can find the whole story at or in the book at left: Echoes From the Square by Elizabeth Wellburn and Deryk Housten, Rubicon Publishing Inc, Oakville, Ontario, 1998, ISBN 0921156995. This book is a work of fiction but was inspired by the actions of Vedran Smailovic, who also contributed to the ideas included in the book.

Story: Disposable Guilt Bags
This story can be found at in the conclusion.
Story: Heaven
Found in 750 Engaging Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers and Writers by Craig Brian Larson, Baker Books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551, story No 297.

Discussion questions
1. When we know we have been marked (or sealed) by the Holy Spirit, how does this shape our understanding of what God wants us to do in the world?
2. In what ways can we live according to God’s vision for the world, despite what we see going on around us?
3.What does it mean for us to live as inheritors of God’s grace?
4. How big is our imagination?
5. Can we imagine that God has a plan for the entire universe?
6. Can we imagine our place in that plan?

Before the service find a nice readable translation or paraphrase of Ephesians (if you are an Aussie, try Nathan Nettleton's paraphrases at - they are brilliant and tap into our culture very well).  Underline all the promises. At this point in the service, ask everybody to shut their eyes, invite them to listen to reassuring and encouraging words from God and then slowly read out your underlined promises.


Meditation: What is of Lasting Value
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 49. This goes well with the Ephesians 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 Ephesians reading.

A Prayer on the Way to Jerusalem 
By Ruth Burgess and Chris Polhill in Eggs and Ashes, Wild Goose Publications, 2004, page 125.

Complete Service: Join the Dance
Found in In this Hour by Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Desbooks, 2001, ISBN 094982433X, page 12ff. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Hi folks,
I would like to invite you to visit my worship resource website:
This specialises is Psalm resources and stuff for all-age worship, including prayers for worship services, sermons etc.
You are very welcome to link to it from Mustard Seed if you find some things that folks in Australia might be interested in.


Silvia Purdie
Christchurch, NZ