Saturday, January 19, 2019

Epiphany 4 C (February 3); Ministers of God

There is an updated 2022 version of this post with more resources - see my archive at left

Bible Readings: Jeremiah 1:4-10, Psalm 71: 1-6, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Luke 4:21-30

About the Images:
Upper Left:
A free Microsoft clipart image over which I put the text.
Upper Right:
This is my photo so feel free to use it for worship or related activities.
Middle Left: This is a free image from Cezzaro Barredo's site - see my link column at left.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website.  Visit the website at
Lower Left: Free clipart from the Hermano Leon site - see my link column at left

Kids' Story: Flat or ....?
Tell the story of the Jeremiah reading using a balloon - first he was flat: too young, no confidence, didn't have the words etc; then when God reassured him he was like an inflated balloon: full of life and energy, confident.

Discussion Questions for the Jeremiah reading:
What are Jeremiah's two excuses for not being God's messenger?
What is God's response to these excuses?

Film Clip: Love is the Law

Film Clip: Cocoon
Cocoon (pictured at right) is a film about some elderly people who feel as if they are being treated like the living dead but who discover that they still have lives to live and something to offer. There are plenty of scenes which relate to the psalmist who is an old man who knows that he still has something to say and to offer and a way to say it.

Drama: Home Town Sermon
Found in Present on Earth by Wild Goose Resource Group, Wild Goose Publications, 2002, ISBN 0901557642, page 189 (pictured at left). This is based on the Luke reading.

Story: Seeing Things from God's Perspective
Index No 1629-1631 in Bible Illustrator for Windows 1.0d, Parson's Technology Inc., 1990
Quote: Unknown
"I intend to stay alive for the whole of my life."

Quote: By a British Politician
"When we assumed office four years ago we stood on the edge of the precipice. Since then, we have taken a giant leap forward". As quoted by Prime Minister Tony Blair during a White House Toast on 5th February 1998 (I think).

Quote: Martin Luther King Jnr.
"When I speak of love, I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response, I am speaking of that force which is ... the supreme unifying principle of life".

Discussion and/or Questions to Ponder:
What encouragement is there is this/these readings for us?
What warning is there in this/these readings for us?
What is God asking you to do and what excuses are you using?

Response Activity:
Ask all the ministers present to stand up - it should, of course, be everyone!

For those Starting/Returning/to Kinder/School/Uni/Work
A southern hemisphere event - it is around the time of the new school year here - if you leave it until after school has started you can easily include the Uni students as well.

Kids' Story: The Rainbow Fish
By Marcus Pfister, 1992, ISBN 1558580093 (pictured at left). This book is basically about sharing but can also be about the fact that even if you feel like the little stripy fish at school, you will always belong to God and the church - and the church is full of rainbow fish.

Response Activity: Remembering Where You Belong:
Have a candle mould and small containers of various coloured pieces of candle wax. Encourage each starting/returning/ leaving for another place student of any age to select a piece of candle wax in their favourite colour. Encourage everybody else to also select a piece of candle wax. Ask students to come forward with their family and friendship groups so that they can all drop their pieces of candle wax into the mould. Don't forget those who have finished school and are starting new jobs. Pray for each group as they drop in their candle pieces. When the whole church has participated, pour plain melted candle wax over all the pieces. You should end up with a beautiful multi-coloured
candle in which
the coloured pieces will remain relatively whole. Thanks to Rev. Rosalind Terry for showing me this moving and memorable activity.


Meditation: Old Age
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 81 (pictured at left). This goes well with the Psalm.

Taize Service: Loving With Your Life
Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 8 (pictured at right). This is based on the Corinthians reading.

Taize Service: Prophetic voices

Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 42 (pictured at right). This is based on the Jeremiah reading.

Creative Ideas: Jeremiah: The Prophet of Judgement

Found in Multi-Sensory Prophets by Mike Law, Scripture Union, 2007, ISBN 9781844272587, page 29 (pictured at left). This is based on the Jeremiah reading.

Mission Manifesto
Found in Party On Together by Beth Barnett and Dr Keith Dyer, Scripture Union, 2010, page 86. This is based on the Gospel reading. This resource is also available in electronic form through the Baptist Union of Victoria website, where it can be copied freely for non-commercial use. 

Brilliant Comments on the Gospel
Found in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey, SPCK, 2008, ISBN 9780281059751, pages 147-169.

Sermon ideas: Working for the Poor and Oppressed
Found in Life on the Road by Athol Gill, Herald Press, 1992, page 180.  This is based on the Gospel reading. 

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