14

August 2022

Aug

Yielding Wild Grapes

Prophet Margins

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

What if we celebrate the church by featuring what happens outside the church? What if we lift up ministry that may be happening in small ways throughout our neighborhood, or city, or world? What if we take time to point out that the church is wherever the congregation is and does whatever it is each member does?

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)


Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C

Isaiah 5:1-7 New International Reader's Version

The Song of the Vineyard

I will sing a song for the Lord.

He is the one I love.

It’s a song about his vineyard Israel.

The one I love had a vineyard.

It was on a hillside that had rich soil.

He dug up the soil and removed its stones.

He planted the very best vines in it.

He built a lookout tower there.

He also cut out a winepress for it.

Then he kept looking for a crop of good grapes.

But the vineyard produced only bad fruit.

So the Lord said, “People of Jerusalem and Judah,

you be the judge between me and my vineyard.

What more could I have done for my vineyard?

I did everything I could.

I kept looking for a crop of good grapes.

So why did it produce only bad ones?

5 Now I will tell you

what I am going to do to my vineyard.

I will take away its fence.

And the vineyard will be destroyed.

I will break down its wall.

And people will walk all over my vineyard.

6 I will turn my vineyard into a dry and empty desert.

It will not be pruned or taken care of.

Thorns and bushes will grow there.

I will command the clouds

not to rain on it.”

7 The vineyard of the Lord who rules over all

is the nation of Israel.

The people of Judah

are the vines he took delight in.

He kept looking for them to do what is fair.

But all he saw was blood being spilled.

He kept looking for them to do what is right.

But all he heard were cries of suffering.

Object/Image:

Telegraph

Message:

Today’s communication image is a challenging one. I am not sure if anyone will recognize this form of sending a message. Do any of you know what this is? (Show telegraph image to children and allow a couple of responses.) This is a telegraph machine, and it was used to send telegraphs. A telegraph message was sent by a telegraph operator and was sent across telegraph wires. The telegraph operators used Morse code as a language created that assigned letters in the alphabet and numbers a set of dots (short marks) and dashes (long marks). These dots and dashes were tapped out on this machine and then sent long distances across a wire. This was before the invention of the telephone and was quicker to get a message across a great distance than mailing a letter through the post office. When the code was sent, a telegraph operator would translate the language of dots and dashes back into English. These operators became particularly good at being able to hear and understand the code just by listening to the clicking of the receiver. This system of sending a message relied on a cable or wire, as the sounds and code were sent across the county by wire.

Today’s prophet is again Isaiah. In this passage of scripture, Isaiah found a very clever way to share God’s message to the people. Isaiah disguised himself as a singer, wandering around and singing words such as these.

“I will sing a song for the Lord.

He is the one I love.

It’s a song about his vineyard Israel.

The one I love had a vineyard.

It was on a hillside that had rich soil.

He dug up the soil and removed its stones.

He planted the very best vines in it.

He built a lookout tower there.

He also cut out a winepress for it.

(Pause and reflect, saying that the song sounds happy so far. Then continue).

Then he kept looking for a crop of good grapes.

But the vineyard produced only bad fruit.

So the Lord said, “People of Jerusalem and Judah,

you be the judge between me and my vineyard.

What more could I have done for my vineyard?

I did everything I could.

I kept looking for a crop of good grapes.

So why did it produce only bad ones?

Now I will tell you

what I am going to do to my vineyard.

I will take away its fence.

And the vineyard will be destroyed.

I will break down its wall.

And people will walk all over my vineyard.

I will turn my vineyard into a dry and empty desert.

It will not be pruned or taken care of.

Thorns and bushes will grow there.

I will command the clouds

not to rain on it.”

Do you think this song is a happy or sad song? Do you know what a vineyard is? A vineyard is a field of grape vines. People knew if they wanted grapes, they would have to have a nicely soiled ground to grow delicious grapes. They couldn’t simply go to the grocery store and purchase them.

Wild grapes were not healthy, wholesome, or used for what grapes should be used for. Isaiah and God wanted the people to understand that the grapes were like people. If we ignore or treat others unfairly, we are like those in the song trampling and destroying the beautiful vineyards. God didn’t produce the wild grapes; people did, with their negative actions.

Grapes are grown on a vine, which looks kind of like a wire, doesn’t it? That is why today’s communication image is the telegraph machine. It needed a wire to send message. Grapes need a vine to grow. God wants us to know through Isaiah, the prophet, that God doesn’t produce wild grapes or bad fruit, and God doesn’t ignore those in need who are treated unfairly or hurting. To produce good grapes, the soil must be healthy and provide protection to this precious fruit. Similarly, God desires to protect us.

With God’s help, I wonder how you can help produce good fruit with no wild grapes? What can you do to spread the goodness that is God? (Allow children to come up with some ideas.).

Those are all fantastic ideas. This week, let’s help God by offering love, kindness, and other good grapes to those we meet.

Prayer:

God of communication: We know that grapes don’t grow wild and out of control in your vineyards. Forgive us when we trample your beautiful land or destroy other’s feelings with our actions. Help us to stand up for those who are hurting and treated unfairly. 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