Sunday, December 17, 2017

New Year's Day B

Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:13, Psalm 8, Revelation 21:1-6, Matthew 25:31-46

About the Image:
Upper Left: Hibiscus bud photographed in my garden - you are free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: This is my photo (my front yard) with words from the John Marsden prayer below. You are free to use my photo for worship and related activities.
Middle left: A free image from
Middle right: A free image from Church Galleries (see my links column at left)
Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image - see my link column at left.

Confession: The Paradox of Our Times
This can be found in many places on the net and makes a good confession if read by two people. U
se 1 John 2:1-2 as your absolution.

Kid's Story: The "Sheep Lion"
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 147 (pictured at right). This is a story about recognising who you are in the context of God's purpose for your life.

Story: Missed Opportunities
This story can be found at
/mt06v19b.html. Scroll down until you find the heading "Folly".

Prayer: Prayer For the 21st Century
By John Marsden, Lothian Books, 1997, ISBN 0850918146 (pictured at left). A beautifully illustrated prayer appropriate for every new day, let alone every new year. It goes well with the track Adiemus by the group Adiemus on their CD, Songs of Sanctuary (pictured at right).

Response Activity:
Invite people to stand up and name a ministry in which they are involved in or in which they feel called (by God but not necessarily by the church) to be involved in, in the future (this may be something nobody is yet doing in the church).

Response Activity:
I combined the above Response Activity, the Prayer for the 21st Century and Wesley's covenant prayer as three distinct prayer stations to finish off the service. People had the option and the time to visit all three stations or to spend time at just one or two.

Christmas 1 A (December 31): Christmas 24/7

Bible Readings: Isaiah 61:10-62:3, Psalm 148, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:22-40.

About the images:
Upper Left: This is a microsoft free clip art image with my text. I apologise to all the font police out there who hate comic sans but I made this slide way before I knew it was such a graphic crime to use this particular font :)
Upper Right: This figure is from the Hermano Leon free clip art site (see my links column at left).
Middle Left: This is a Microsoft free clip art image and goes well with Galatians 4:4 - "when the time was right...."
Middle Right: Simeon in the Temple by Rembrandt.  The copyright note with this image from Wikipedia Commons states:  This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. The official position taken by the Wikimedia Foundation is that "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain". This photographic reproduction is therefore also considered to be in the public domain.
Lower Left: This is a free Heartlight image - see my link column at left

Responsive Reading: Gathering
Found in Ideas for Worship, July - December 1996, JBCE, page 54 (pictured at right).

Listening Song: Overjoyed
By Jars of Clay on their album, Much Afraid (pictured at left).

Film Clip: The Blue Butterfly
 (pictured at right) There is a great clip in this film where Pete and a young girl have a discussion about the meaning of the word "miracle".

Discussion: The Blue Butterfly
1. What does the girl try to teach Pete about his understanding of a miracle?
How can we turn Christmas from a one day miracle into a year round miracle?

Drama: Anna and Simeon
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 116ff (pictured at left).

Discussion: On the Galatians reading.
What are the promises to us given in these verses?

Discussion: On the Luke reading
1. What is a God moment/"God stuff"?
2. How do we remind ourselves that Jesus walks with us?
3. How do we encourage each other to notice the "God stuff" in our lives?
4. How do we encourage each other to respond to the "God stuff"?

Poem: Mary's Gift
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 30 (pictured at right)

Poem: Simeon's Farewell
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 32 (pictured at right).

Poem: Anna'a Song
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 34 (pictured above right).

Story: Cleaning up the Mess
Found at - second paragraph.

Story: Grandfather Listens to God
Story by Helen Flexner found in Imaging the Word Volume 3 edited by Susan A Blain, Sharon Iverson Gouwens, Catherine O'Callagan, and Grant Spradling, United Church Press, 1996, ISBN 0829810862, page 104 (pictured at right

Response Activity:
Give everyone a short piece of tinsel or a tree decoration of some sort to take home as a reminder that the God stuff/moments can be found on any day of the year, not just Christmas day. An extra option would be to give each person a small white card on which they could write a few words to remind them of the miracle of Christmas which could them be attached to the tinsel or ornament.