21

August 2022

Aug

I Knew You

Prophet Margins

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

We’re back on more comfortable ground this week. Here we have the promise of presence. Supposedly, John Wesley’s final words were “best thing of all, God is with us.” We love to celebrate that God is with us and we are not alone. That is a powerful message at any time of the year.

In this series, we will learn the life lesson of the importance of having a relationship with God and discover how God sees a prophet in each of us. During this worship series, children will be introduced to several prophets from the Old Testament. A prophet is defined as someone who hears messages from God and tells those messages to others. This series will incorporate different modes of communication used over time for people to share their messages. A game designed as a hybrid of Bingo and Tic-Tac-Toe will invite children to learn historical means of communication and help them communicate better with family members throughout the summer and this series.

“God Speaks to Me, 1, 2, 3” Game

This game board resembles a Bingo card, but it has only nine squares. Each square contains an image correlated to a method of communication or hearing a message. Throughout history, the methods of sending messages have changed. Each week, a different method of sending a message will be introduced to children, At the conclusion of the series, children will receive their own game card, which gives them the opportunity to play the game with their family. In addition, playing the game at home will reinforce the lessons learned from this summer series.

The game is played just like Bingo, except for needing only three in a row to cover. Each box represents a different form of communication or sending and receiving messages. During each week of the series, a new mode (and image) will be introduced, and each image will have a coinciding scripture passage listed. This will encourage children and their families to play the game while remembering the scripture texts and lessons from the prophets.

Throughout the series, the leader of the children’s messages will have a game card to introduce both the scripture and the communication image. (A creative way to introduce the communication methods to the children is to have actual versions of the communication methods if you can locate them. For example, try to find a real rotary telephone or tin cans and string. Good luck locating a telegraph!) At the conclusion of the series, provide each child with several copies of the game card (each with a random order of images). One card will need to be cut into pieces to use like Bingo balls and randomly pulled from a cup or bowl. In the final week of the series, the leader will demonstrate how to play the game by giving instructions and playing one time with the children.

Items needed to play the game the last week include game cards with the nine images placed randomly on the page; one card of nine images cut into squares to place in a bowl or cup to “call” the image (like Bingo balls), and small objects to cover each square when the image is called. You also need to have the opportunity to share scripture stories to reinforce each week’s lesson.

DOWNLOAD God Speaks to Me 1, 2, 3 (PDF)


Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

Jeremiah 1:4-8 New International Reader's Version

The Lord Appoints Jeremiah to Speak for Him

A message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said,

“Before I formed you in your mother’s body, I chose you.

Before you were born, I set you apart to serve me.

I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

“You are my Lord and King,” I said. “I don’t know how to speak. I’m too young.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I’m too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to. You must say everything I command you to say. Do not be afraid of the people I send you to. I am with you. I will save you,” announces the Lord.

Object/Image:

Text message symbol.

Message:

Does anyone recognize this symbol? (Show children text message symbol and allow them to respond.) Text messages, or texting, has become perhaps the most used method of communication in recent years. You can send word messages, videos, even emojis through a text.

Today’s Bible story is about the prophet Jeremiah. His story is found in the Old Testament right after last week’s prophet Isaiah’s book.

Jeremiah’s journey of being a prophet placed him in some very strange situations. In later verses, Jeremiah found himself sitting in a well with mud all around him and covering parts of his body. There was mud in his ears and under his toenails and fingernails. He would never get all this mud off himself, he thought. That is if he ever got out of the well. While it was totally quiet, Jeremiah heard his stomach rumble. The day before, someone had lowered some bread down to him. So far today, nothing, and he was hungry.

Jeremiah started to wonder if he would ever get out of the bottom of the well. Would he die down in the well? All of this just because he gave the people a message from God. Do you remember what that person is called? (Allow children to answer.) That’s right, Jeremiah was a prophet.

Jeremiah was still, however, in the well. God’s people just wouldn’t listen. They were going to go into battle and be conquered with Babylon’s soldiers. Some would die. Many would be captured.

Just when Jeremiah was about to give up hope, he looked up out of the well to see several men who dropped some rope and rags to him. They told him to put the rags under his arms to help pad the ropes, so he wouldn’t get rope burned. Then they slowly lifted Jeremiah out of the well. Jeremiah was so glad that he was out of the well. He knew that God was going to protect him.

God knew that it wasn’t a mistake asking Jeremiah to spread God’s message. God doesn’t make a mistake when God asks us to do something either. God has known us long before we are born. God knows more about us and knows we are made for this work. God’s promise to not abandon us never fails. We might all feel that we aren’t good enough to do the work God asks us to do. We give God many excuses, but God does not give up on us.

If I were to send a text to someone reminding that person that God does not give up on us, I might come up with an abbreviation, such as “GNG ⇧.” (God never gives up)!

Sometimes being a prophet and spreading God’s message isn’t easy. Sometimes people don’t want to hear the message. Sometimes spreading God’s message might place you in a situation that is dangerous or scary. Jeremiah felt all those things, but he did the right thing, even when doing the right thing was the hardest thing he ever had to do. We can be just like Jeremiah. Even when your friends are doing the wrong thing, you do what you know is right with God. We are also reminded that GNG ⇧.

Prayer:

God of communication: No matter where we may find ourselves, remind us that you never give up on us. Even as Jeremiah found himself in strange and difficult surroundings, you helped him to do the right thing. You were always there for him. Remind us that you are always there for us. Thank you for being the God who never gives up on us. Amen.


New International Reader's Version (NIRV) Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In This Series...


Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • Green

In This Series...


Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C - Lectionary Planning Notes