Monday, February 11, 2019

Transfiguration of Jesus C (March 3): Son-light

Bible Readings: Exodus 34:29-35, Psalm 99, 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2, Luke 9:28-43 

About the images:
Upper Left: I have permission to use this photo by Tamar Dolev - see this and  more of her work at Please ask permission before using any work of any artist.
Upper Right: Sunset from Norfolk Island. This is my photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities. If you want to know more about this beautiful island, then visit
Middle Left: This is the view from the top of Mt Sinai. This is my photo so please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Middle Right: This image comes from the awesome Church Galleries website.  Visit the website at
Lower Left: A free image from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left. 

Decor of the worship space:
Decorate the focal point of your worship space with any combination of heaps of lit candles, spotlights, and white and gold material.

Listening Song: Great Light of the World
By Bebo Norman on his album, Myself When I Am Real (pictured at left), 2002, or on WOW 2004.

Kids Story: Reflections
Place a large mirror in a dim part of your church and put the lighted Christ candle on it. Give each kid (with supervision if necessary) a tea light. Ask them to light their tea lights from the Christ candle and place them on the mirror. The effect should speak for itself.
Kid's S
I have a collection of large cards with dinner plate sized round faces drawn on them - each face reflecting a different emotion; eg tired, scared, surprised, sad, happy, excited, puzzled etc etc. The transfiguration lends itself very much to a retelling of the story using these cards to reflect the emotions of the disciples. You can either hand out the faces and get kids to hold up the one they have when they think that is how the disciples must have felt or you can hold up a relevant card at the relevant time and ask the kids (and the congregation?) to reflect the same face. It can be lots of fun.

Film Clip: Amelie
Show the clip where Amelie walks the blind man across the road. As she does so, she begins to detail all the things around him so that she gives him his sight.

Discussion Questions: For the film clip or as stand alones
To think about by yourself: 
      When have you felt closest to God's glory?
      How did it make you feel?
1. Why do you think God sometimes is revealed in these ways?
2. How has the experience impinged on your daily life?
3. How are we able to reflect God's glory on to other people?
4. What happens when we do?

Drama: We Can't Tell You
Found in Mega Drama 5 by Verena Johnson, (Ed.), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109194, page 61 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the gospel reading.

Sermon Starter: Space Jump
Liken the disciples experience on the mountain to the Theatre Sports game, Space Jump, and then compare the game with the business and diversity of modern life.

Story: Spiritual Disciplines
Found in
Story 664 in 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Baker Books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551 (pictured at right). This story goes well with the Corinthians reading.

Story: Testimony
Found in Story 719 in 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers and Writers by Craig Brian Larson and Leadership Journal, Baker Books, 2002, ISBN 0801091551 (pictured at right). This story also goes well with the Corinthians reading.

Story: Reflected Son-light 
Index 2166 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990

Story: A Candle in the Darkness
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice, Zondervan, 1995, ISBN 0310207681, page 17 (pictured at left). When I first told this story, I illustrated it with a self lighting candle ie you cannot put out God's light.

Story: Wouldn't He stick Out?
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On
by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 203 (pictured at left).

Poem: Transfiguration
By Bruce Prewer and found
his site at (see my links at left) under Prayers, Prefaces, Litanies, etc. on the Transfiguration C page.
Prayer: Transfiguration
This is a great three reader prayer written by Roddy Hamilton and found on his Mucky Paws blog (see my links) in his Archives for February 16 2007.

Response Activity:

Project or give everybody a copy of 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 and ask them to underline the part that gives them the most hope. Be generous with time to do this - make it a spiritual exercise. Then ask them to share their response with two other people.

Response Activity:
Give each person a small candle or tea light and ask them to light it at their main meal each day this week to remind themselves of God's love for them and that they are reflectors of God's light.

Response Activity:
Brainstorm ideas on how your congregation can be a light in the community? As each idea is suggested, write it on a separate piece of paper. Put them around the walls. Give everybody three stickers each and ask them to put a sticker on the three which excite them the most.  After the service, give the six with the most dots to a member of your church council or leadership team :-) !!

Poem: Leaf and seed
Found in In Due Season by Herbert F Brokering, Augsburg Publishing, 1966 (pictured at right) in the Autumn section and based on the 2 Corinthians reading.

Epiphany 7 C or Proper 2 C (February 24): Forgiveness

Bible Readings:
Genesis 45: 3-11, 15, Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40, 1 Corinthians 15: 35-38, 42-50,  Luke 6:27-38

About the Images:
Upper Left : This is a free image from Cerezzo Barredo - see my link column at left.
Upper Right: This is free image from the Heartlight site. See my link column at left.
Middle Left: This is another free image from the Heartlight site. See my link column at left.
Middle Right: This is a free image from Misioneros Del Sagrado Corazón en el Perú. 
Lower Left: This is another free image from the Heartlight site. See my link column at left.

Drama: Hmmmm.

Setting : Person praying and five people standing facing him/her who each turn around to the congregation when it is their turn to speak.

Leader: Let us pray (everybody bows their heads). Creator God, we come to you this morning thankful for what you do for us.   Thankyou for all the good things you have done for us this week……

1: Good things!?  What good things?  I’ve had a lousy week.

Leader: We thank you particularly for the rain which filled our tanks earlier this week…..

2: So much for my suntan!

Leader: Thankyou for comfortable homes and plenty to eat…..

3: I’ve had it with my family!  I can’t wait till I can move out.  I’m sick of people telling me what to do all the time!

Leader: Lord, we ask for your forgiveness when our lives are not in keeping with you.  Forgive us when we are ungrateful….

(First three squirm a little)

1: Whoops, I think I might have been.

2: Mmmmm. Maybe I have too.

3: I could have been just a little bit ungrateful.

Leader: Forgive us when we don’t put you first in our lives….

4: Huh, that’d be a friend of my mine for sure.  He thinks more of his car than of anything else in the world!

Leader: Forgive us when we get out of control …

5: Yeah, you should have heard Simmo last night. He completely lost it with the Umpy and swore his head off at him.

Leader: Forgive us when we don’t spend time with you…

1: Huh! That’d be Jamie down the road.  I saw him playing tennis last Sunday morning.

Leader: Forgive us when we don’t spend enough time with those who love us……

4: That’d be my next door neighbour for sure.  She has the rudest kids I’ve ever come across.  If they were mine they’d soon be behaving themselves.  Can’t think why she doesn’t keep them under control.

Leader: Forgive us when we are not content to follow where you lead…….

2: Uh huh.  I knew it!  I saw Dan and Elly down the street together only yesterday.  There’s no smoke without fire.

Leader: Forgive us when we talk about others behind their backs.

5: I hope my committee is listening. They were gossiping so much at our last meeting that I didn’t even get a chance to tell them about Simmo the other night…

Leader: Forgive us when we are jealous of other people..

3: Jealous? Me? Never! I’d never want to keep up with the Jones….(pause)   They’re a daggy family anyway.

Leader: And now creator God, prepare our hearts to hear your words of assurance from Luke 6:37: Jesus said: Don’t judge others and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others and God won’t be hard on you.  Forgive others, and God will forgive you.

(1,2,3,4 and 5 look increasingly uncomfortable and slowly turn back around to the leader and bow their heads).

Leader; Thankyou Lord, for showing us where we go wrong and help us to be your people. Amen.
© Judging by the wording and the age of this drama in my resources (found in my 2001 file seeing that Epiphany 7 does not pop up all that often) I am guessing this was written by Rosemary Broadstock and myself.  If that is the case,  go ahead and use it. However, I am not 100 per cent sure, so if any of you think you know where else it might come from, please let me know.

Film Clip: The War
(pictured at left) Show the scene where Kevin Costner gives the children who beat up his son, some fairy floss.

Story: The Release
Found in Thereby Hangs a Tale by Penelope Wilcock, Kingsway Publications, 1994, ISBN 0854763996 (pictured at right). I found this a bit too long to read out but it is a great story to retell.

Question for The Release
What kind of God is worshipped by Helen, by Mike, by Jim, by you/me?

and for the little used epiphany 8 C

Brilliant Comments on the Gospel
Found in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey, SPCK, 2008, ISBN 9780281059751, pages 321-331.

Epiphany 6 C - Proper 1 C (February 17): Like a Tree/Choices

Bible Readings: Jeremiah 17:8-10, Psalm 1, Luke 6:17-26

About the Images:

Upper Left and Right: These are free images from the Hermano Leon site. See my link column at left.
Middle Left and Right: These are free images from the Heartlight site - see my link column at left.
Lower Left: This is my image.  You are free to use it for worship and related activities. These are cabbage tree palms and other trees growing in the Finke River Gorge in Central Australia. This is desert country but the trees grow in and beside the river bed whether there is water on top or not. They send their roots down deep.
Listening Song: Like a Tree

by Chris Falson on his album, A Tree by the Water, 2006. 

Film Clip: Life of Brian
pictured at right) Show the blessed are the cheesemakers scene, however stop it just before the swearing if you have a sensitive congregation. This scene can be related to the Luke reading and leads into a discussion about how we are prone to hearing only what we want to hear.

Discussion: on the Luke reading.
Divide the congregation into groups and give each group a different pair of blessings and woes ie verses 20 and 24, 21a and 25a, 21b and 25b,
22-23 and 26. Ask each group to determine what their blessing and woe is about and write out in one sentence what each mean to us today. Ask groups to share their answers with the whole congregation. If you want to sum up after each one, here are some handy quotes etc:
Poor or Rich Quote: "Jesus Christ is precisely God become poor". Gustavo Gutierrez.
Poor or Rich Poem: Blessed
By Louis Evely in Imaging the Word Volume 1 by Kenneth T Lawrence (ed.), United Church Press, 1994, ISBN 0829809716, page 135 (pictured below).
Hungry or Well Fed poem: Sunday Dinner?
Found on Bruce Prewers site at (see my links at left) under Prayers, Prefaces, Litanies, etc. on the Epiphany 6C page.
Hungry or Well Fed Quote:
"If you are striving for spiritual fulfilment and knowledge, God will be there for you, but if you think you know all the Christian answers then you are shutting God out of your life." Group of teenagers.
Weeping or Laughing Quotes:
"A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing." Martin Luther.
"You can't say you can sail until you have weathered a storm." Sailors proverb.

Unpopular or Popular Story: The Visit
Bits of this story by Adrian Plass found in his book of short stories, The Final
Boundary, Monarch,1990, ISBN 1854240935, (pictured at right) are very helpful.

Response Activity:
Have a photo or a picture or a large branch or even a real tree at the front of your worship space. Give each person a cut out green leaf. Ask them to write on the leaf what it is they need to do to flourish and grow as one of God's people. Have them stick the leaf on the tree. Play quiet music while this is happening.

Make each blessing and woe pair into a station. Ask people to move from station to station and have the quotes, poems etc there for them to read and think about while quiet music plays. Have a response activity at each station for them to complete before they move on eg. rich and poor - a piece of modelling clay which people can model into a gift they have (material or non material) which can be shared with the world; hungry and well fed - invite people to take a piece from a loaf of bread and dip it in a cup of wine and eat it before moving on, weeping and laughing - have a shallow bowl of water to represent tears and ask people to trace a one word prayer on the surface of the water; unpopular and popular - the response activity above fits well here.

Prayer: Rest in my Wings
By Colleen Fulmer in Imaging the Word Volume 1 by Kenneth T Lawrence (ed.), United Church Press, 1994, ISBN 0829809716, page 133 (pictured at left).


Kids: Tina the Tree

This is another brilliant book  by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2012 (pictured at right). This goes with the Psalm reading.  The great thing about these books is that they only around $A5 and for a further $A10 (or instead of) you can buy on line the story in any format you need to project the pictures in church.  There are also free activity sheets and for a cost activity books for both teachers and children.  Visit to check out all the excellent resources.

Lots of Useful Stuff: A Leaf from God's Book
Found in Multi-Sensory Together by Ian Birkinshaw, Scripture Union,2005, ISBN 1844271641, page 15.  Based on the Psalm reading.