Hineni -Here I Am, Send Me
Processing Luke 1 and Mary’s story… It’s incredibly easy to hear God’s words spoken over us on Sunday mornings and walk right out the door, leaving it all behind as we walk into our week. So what keeps us from living into who God has made us to be? When an angel shows up and brings a greeting straight from the throne room of the King, why do we say no? Is it our apathy? Our fear of standing out? The unknown? Selfishness? Wanting the King to conform to our story instead of joining into His? Have each person confess their sin and write (or draw) on a home made ornament. Next decorate the Christmas tree with sin, a tree that will become a cross with a Savior. It works great to celebrate Eucharist in the midst of this – pronouncing absolution and then send each person home with a new ornament to remind them that their sin is gone, disappeared. That God uses us as He finds us to speak light into darkness, freedom into slavery, and joy into sorrow. God with us, Emmanuel- Here I am, send me!
The Kingdom of God
Prior to worship on a Sunday morning, outline a cross in masking tape on the floor of a carpeted room. Apply scotch guarding and water proof in that area. On Sunday morning, ask people to confess what has stolen their attention from their true identity, distracted them from what the kingdom of God is about. Have people write this in the area that was waterproofed on the floor (removing the masking tape so they can’t “see” the cross ahead of time but having volunteers direct people to the general grid). Sins should be written in washable markers. Pronounce an absolution and have volunteers throw lots of water on the floor. Watch the marker disappear and the cross appear. For an extra added bonus – have people walk through the water on their way up to celebrate the Lord’s Supper as a reminder of their baptism!
Great if your carpet is about to be replaced or if you have someone with a wet/dry vac who can suck up the remaining water afterwards.
To see an example: https://youtu.be/BZ5zIeEEbY0
Confess Your Identity
We often believe the lies about ourself that are whispered instead of our true identity won for us by Jesus Christ through his death and resurrection. Ideally – it’s best to have a sermon or message on this particular topic. Then ask participants to confess what lie they believe (or their sin) on a disposable name tag. As each individual then comes forward for communion, the name tags are removed and placed on a cross for them. A new name reminding them of their identity is bestowed upon them for the rest of the worship service. (Note – this is a great place for smaller children to help – they do a great job taking old name tags off or being “runners” to put them on the cross.) While celebrating the Lord’s Supper might take longer, it’s well worth it to see the power as people recognize and remember their true identity.
Supplies needed: disposable name tags, markers, cross, additional people to help during the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. (“New name” tags should be made up in advance – don’t worry about matching things up to a particular person’s confession, God seems to always take care of that.)
Living Stones – Children’s Sermon
God is building the temple with living stones, precious to Him and built on the chief cornerstone that is Jesus. But when one of the stones shakes, the entire building does. When one stone is missing, there can be big problems. The applications are endless – but playing Jenga during the children’s sermon has great implications for helping us understand why “faith is made whole in community.”
See an example here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6DsrinFBmM
Under construction – will have creative worship ideas that build oikos & community.