Sunday, September 23, 2018

Proper 21 Ordinary 26 B (September 30): God's Possibilities

Bible Reading: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22, Psalm 124, James 5:13-20, Mark 9:38-50

About the images:
Upper Left: This is a free image from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left
Upper Right: This image, among hundreds of others, comes from, a wonderful site which provides both free and subscription powerpoint images and backgrounds connected to the lectionary readings each week.
Middle Left: This is a free Microsoft clipart image.
Middle Right: This is a free image from the Hermano Leon site - see my link column at left.
Lower Left:This is a free wikicommons image with words from the gospel reading paraphrased (Aussie style) by

Listening Song: Shine
By Newsboys on their album, Shine The Hits (pictured at left) or on WOW 1996. This song goes well with the gospel reading.

Kid's Story:
The Esther reading makes a great kid's story provided you use a good story teller

Film Clip: Legally Blonde
Watch the scene where California sorority girl Elle Woods arrives at Harvard. She clearly doesn't fit the picture of a Harvard Law student - and she is treated like it! Film cover pictured at right.

Film Clip: Thunderpants 
Show the clip where Alan tells Patrick that he could not possibly ever be a spaceman. This is a clip with the same idea as the one above but with film (see picture at left) appeal to primary aged kids. This clip is available from

Discussion: For Legally Blonde
or Thunderpants
Ask: What is going on in whatever film clip you used?
Then read Bible reading: Mark 9:38-50.
Read verses 38-42 verses again.
Ask: What is going on with the disciples in this reading?
Ask people to compare the two situations.
When do you think we act like the disciples or the Harvard students/Alan?
According to the disciples, why doesn’t the man casting out demons belong?
Put yourself in their shoes - how would you feel?
What makes us critical of others?
Would the man, or those witnessing what happened, feel that they could join the community of disciples after what the disciples had just said?
How does our church today send similar messages to those who might wish to join us?

Poem: Blessed Be these Hands
by Diann Neu and found in  Imaging the Word Volume 1, United Church Press, 1994, ISBN 0829809716, page 23 (pictured at left). This is based on the gospel reading. I put images with this beautiful poem and backed it musically with Leaving Behind by Robert Miles on his album, 23am (pictured at right). 

Response Activity:
Give each person a key card (pictured above).
Encourage people to use the cards as a reminder that God opens up all kinds of possibilities for us to see in others when we work with him.
Give everyone a piece of self hardening clay and ask them to make a small goblet as a reminder of Mark 9:41 (which you could simultaneously project while people are working). 


Worship Activity: Prayer for Healing

By Jim Burns and Robin Dugall in Worship Experiences, Gospel Light, 1999, ISBN, 0830724044, page 45 (pictured at right).  This is based on the James reading.

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