A Year in Let's Worship
Let’s Worship ~ April 2013
At Let’s Worship in April our old friends Bart and Jimmy the Bible (the great, great... great grandson of the King James Bible) visited to help tell the story of Abraham and Isaac – the next in our series of stories from the Jesse Tree.
In perhaps his most difficult challenge yet, Abraham was asked to trust God, have faith and act on His Word once again. God told Abraham to take Isaac, his beloved son, on a journey to a mountain in the land of Moriah. When they reached this land, Abraham was to offer Isaac as a human sacrifice!
As Bart and Jimmy told the story the tension increased. Isaac carried the wood for his father to make the sacrifice, not knowing that he was intended to be the sacrifice. Abraham carried on and was prepared to go through with it, because he trusted God. Bart, who played the part of Isaac, was pretty scared when tied up with a knife at his throat. There was hushed silence in the congregation; the children were terrified and, at the crucial moment God provided. A ram appeared to take Isaac’s place. Relief all round.
An angel called to Abraham and said...
'I will make you the Father of a great family... as many as the grains of sand in the desert and the stars in the sky. And I will make of you a great blessing, because you trusted and obeyed me.'
This is a very challenging story, which sounds horrific to our ears, but probably wasn’t so outrageous 5,000 years ago. The story of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac also reminds of Jesus’ story... a beloved son is offered as a sacrifice and God provides. Abraham’s faithful act founds the nation of Israel. Jesus loving sacrifice founds the Christian faith.
As we unpack these stories month by month our wonder increases.
With every blessing
Dawn and Jonathan
Let’s Worship ~ March 2013
In March we continued with our exploration of the Jesse Tree stories as we heard the story of Abraham and Sarah’s great journey. Charlie and Eva brought Abraham and Sarah to life and baby Isaac even put in an appearance. We noticed just how much Abraham and Sarah seemed to laugh, despite their problems and so we did plenty of laughing too, especially when we sang Father Abraham!
We learned that Abraham and Sarah journeyed from Ur (in modern-day Iraq) to Haran (in modern-day Turkey) and then on to the Promised Land (Israel / Palestine). They left behind safe and comfortable city-living to become tent-dwelling nomads in a foreign land; they journeyed with God as their guide to escape the idolatry of moon-worship. The process stripped away so much of what gave Abraham and Sarah their identity, but it strengthened their faith, and they gained a very precious and personal friendship with God.
We wondered what things our society might worship today, which don’t feel quite right – perhaps not the moon, but technology, celebrity?
We also reflected on the danger that we too get stuck or comfortable; the problem with 'comfort' being that it doesn’t last. Things change around us all the time and so it’s really important for us to invest time in our relationship with God. We may not embark on a physical journey on the scale of Abraham and Sarah, but there is certainly a need to recognise the importance of journeying, of learning through our lives and of deepening our relationship with God.
We were inspired by Abraham and Sarah’s example which was to trust God, have faith and act on God’s word. Their lives may have been challenging, but they were full and they did seem to have some fun...
...and so did we!
The next Let’s Worship is at 9.15am on Sunday 14 April, when we will hear the story of Abraham and Isaac. Hope you can join us...
Dawn and Jonathan
Let’s Worship ~ January and February 2013
During 2013 we are exploring some of the stories from the Jesse Tree (see December 2012 for a reminder what that is). In January the story ‘A Sad Day’ recounted the time when Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden – it really was a sad day; seemingly the life that God had intended for his creation got messed up.
We were comforted by the fact that this was not the end of the story...
In February, ‘A Special Promise’ told the story of Noah, a story of great faith on the part of Noah and grace and faithfulness on the part of God. We reflected on the water in the flood as a symbol of cleanliness and refreshment; and on the Ark as an image of faith with echoes of the cross – we considered how our faith can protect us from the storms that life throws at us.
The next Let’s Worship is on Sunday 10 March when we will meet Abraham. We really do hope to see you there.
Dawn and Jonathan
Let’s Worship ~ December 9 2012
This month at Let’s Worship we sang songs, danced, lit a candle, peeled and ate clementines (prayerfully), did a quiz and read the entire story of the Bible – and all in 45 minutes!
The purpose of all this activity and excitement was the exploration of Jesus’ family tree, known as the Jesse Tree, which is based on this well known prophecy of Isaiah...
‘A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots.’ (Isaiah 1:11)
The ‘tree’ which is going to be in church for the remainder of Advent, is decorated with symbols representing the following Biblical characters:
Having explored this overview, the big picture of how the Bible all fits together and how we are part of the story, we are going to unpack a number of the stories during Let’s Worship during 2013 ~ next service will be Sunday 10 February. We really do hope to see you there.
Dawn and Jonathan
Saturday 10 November 2012
This month we held Let’s Worship on Saturday afternoon to avoid a conflict with the Remembrance Sunday church parades. We explored the theme of peace, reflecting first on this passage from the New Testament...
'Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? But he [God] gives all the more grace;God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.' (James 4:1, 6-8)
We also staged a drama involving a rich man, his 17 camels, his son, granddaughter and niece, a poor man and his camel, Caleb. When the rich man died, conflict broke out between his relatives as the will suggested the need to butcher some of the camels for each to get his rightful share! (The maths just didn’t work). The poor man and Caleb (the camel) acted as peacemakers. With an 18th camel all of the maths worked out, every relative got their share and Caleb was able to return to his owner.
We thought about what this story tells us about making peace and about Jesus as the ‘Prince of Peace.’ We prayed for peace in various conflict zones around the world.
The revised time allowed us to enjoy some fellowship after the service – the Parish Room Bistro served up meat and vegetarian chilli, hot dogs and a selection of really tasty puddings (most had seconds, some had thirds and some even had fourths!). We also screened Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang.
Next month we return to the 9.15am slot on Sunday December 9 – We really hope to see you there.
And don’t forget the crib service on Christmas Eve at 5pm – just turn up and join in our nativity.
Dawn and Jonathan
October 14, 2012
The theme for Let’s Worship this month was ‘Surviving the Storm’ and explored how we can all feel battered by the storms of life. Children are bombarded with advertising and can be pressurised to grow up too fast;teenagers and young adults are under almost constant pressure to perform in examinations and to conform to the latest trends and adults can get worn out trying to do and to be everything.
We reflected on the story of Jesus calming the storm on the lake and wondered whether all of the disciples would have been scared, including the fishermen? We also wondered how they would have felt as it started to dawn on them who Jesus was – would they have been more scared of the storm or the fact that God was in the boat with them? This was quite a realisation for Jesus’ disciples then and is one that we often fail to remember as His disciples today. As we sail our own boat through the storms of life, it is comforting to know that Jesus is in the boat with us. We are surrounded by His love and our acceptance of that fact allows His hand to rest on the tiller and to guide us into calmer waters. We used paper boats and a tub of water to help us pray for people we know who are in the midst of a storm.
The service next month is on the afternoon of Saturday November 10 at 4.30pm. A short act of worship on the theme of peacemaking will be followed by food and a film. All are welcome and we hope to see you there.
Dawn and Jonathan
9 September 2012
In September, we held our harvest festival celebrations and our theme was honey!
We had the chance to try some honey and to think about how it is collected. We learnt about Khima Ram, one of the honey collectors in India who faces many problems as he collects honey from the forest to support his family. But Christian Aid and Support Society are helping him and his fellow workers by providing protective clothing, and also vital identity cards, certifying that they have the rights to collect the honey.
Honey-collectors climb rope ladders to reach the hives, and then they send the honeycomb down in a bucket to their waiting teammates. They go at night time and put smoke near to the hive (to make the bees sleepy). It’s dangerous work as the bees can sting them and they also have to look out for wild animals like bears, tigers and snakes that might attack them, as well as forest officials who might try to stop them collecting the honey.
We decided we wouldn’t really like to Khima’s job! But we would pray for them and we had a special collection that raised £20 to send to Christian Aid.
Dawn and Jonathan
8 July 2012
Let’s Worship this month was held under a gazebo in Menston Park. It was wet underfoot, but the rain held off for a short act of worship and several games of ultimate frisby. As we approach the London Olympics we reflected on the people in Jesus’ team. They certainly weren’t perfect; most of them would not be first picks, but we learned that “with God, the last can be first.” The words sunk in but they did not dampen the competitive spirit which was evident in the frisby game!
Food and fellowship played a part as usual and we discovered that chocolate muffins are far more popular than blueberry ones – der!
11 March 2012
During Let’s Worship this month we reflected on the fact that God is constantly seeking us out – He knows us, loves us and wants a relationship with us. We used Jesus’ parable of the Lost Coin, which was excellently narrated by Nicholas and acted by Rebecca, and talked about those things that prevent us from being found by God – mainly 'busy-ness.' Lent especially is a time when we look to make gaps in our busy lives and allow ourselves to be found by God.
After sharing God’s Peace we all shared some cake – made to celebrate
Nicholas’ upcoming confirmation at Bradford Cathedral on Easter Eve.
There will be no Let’s Worship service on Easter Sunday,but all are welcome at the 10 o’clock Easter Celebration.
February 12, 2012
This months Let’s Worship was close to Valentine’s Day and we were thinking about Love, in particular Jesus’ command to 'love your neighbour as much as you love yourself.' Storyteller Bart was on hand to share the story of the Good Samaritan and then adults and children divided. Adults reflected on whether they could see themselves in the images of George Bush, a prisoner, someone homeless and someone elderly, while the children thought about 'who is my neighbour' with the help of some jigsaws. Everyone came together to share God’s Peace, some energetic singing and some chocolate!
January 8, 2012
At Let’s Worship this month we reflected on the gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus – not just the gold, frankincense and myrrh. The wise men used their gifts of wisdom to interpret the sign in the sky and follow the star to find the baby king. They also showed immense courage and perseverance in making such a long journey. We were helped in our reflection by Caleb the talking, story-telling camel, who claims to be the great-great ... great-great grandson of the one that carried the myrrh 2000 years ago! The inspiration of the wise men got us all thinking and praying about what gifts we can give to God, to each other and to our communities in 2012.
The actions to the “What side are you leaning / surfing / giving / skiing on” song were performed with great vigour by parents and children alike and the after worship flap-jack was fantastic! Hope to see you there next month on February 12.
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