Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sept. 30 Alternative Worship service

Our worship service was a bit different this past Sunday. We had several worship stations that people interacted with in lieu of a sermon. It was youth sunday, and the youth chose to have this particular style of "alternative worship." Here are photos and the instructions for each worship station:


In the Books of Law, God sets a festival called the Festival of the Booths or Ingathering—called Sukkot. It began this past Thursday. Here the celebrations of the harvest are sanctified by God through the blessing of ritual. The celebration of plenty is coupled with the remembrance of the Exodus. Read about the celebration of Sukkot on the piece of paper. Take a card and write about a journey that you remember from your own life. Celebrate that journey by tying your card either inside our on the outside of the tent. If you would like to sit in the tent to remember your journey, feel free!

In our scriptures, the book of Revelation imagines the end of all life on earth in a highly symbolic dream event. Here is one image of reaping that is indicative of our relationship with God. God sends the harvesters to collect the harvest of our souls—and we are resurrected in a new life in a new form. As the harvest of our fields leads to the complex foods we create, our newly created lives will be in the service of God in ways which we can not imagine any more than a grape could comprehend its place in a glass of wine, or a grain of wheat its place in a cake. Read the passage from Revelation 14:13-15. Look at the interprative painting. Reach out and feel the harvest of the vine. Imagine the end of your life as a harvest instead of an ending. Have you harvested the gifts that God has given you?
When you are ready, take a piece of bread from the loaf and juice from the cup. Eat and drink them, but eat and drink slowly. Savor them. This is the meal where our Savior meets us to strengthen us and enable us to bear fruit in our life of faith. This "communion" is where God helps us prepare our own lives for harvest. Here is where we are spiritually nourished so that the fruit we bear will add flavor and richness to life itself.


The colors of fall are probably one of the most effective evangelists of the natural world. The reds and golds and yellows and oranges and browns and greens float together in a seas of leaves blanketing the hillsides, like waves reflecting the sunset. God clearly delights in diversity and richness and extravagance. It is clear in our Creation account that God blesses the manifold of the Holy Creation. The Spirit of Life: that blowing breath that sweeps over creation at its inception, the mighty wind bursting through the windows of the early church and setting it on fire. That Spirit of exuberance and vitality is present in every moment. Life makes a grand finale before it goes to sleep for the winter.As children, we harness such creativity and celebration of life with crayons. Isn’t it a shame that we grow up and think we shouldn’t use them anymore? Use the colors to make a picture of God’s majestic creation. If you can’t draw a tree, just use the colors to give the expression of trees, or whatever else you choose to create. Have fun!


In the Christian calendar, harvest leads to the New year. Advent begins with the oncoming of cold weather and empty trees. The goods are dried and readied for the winter, and then we wait. We wait for the surprise at the peak of the winter, when the world is asleep. We wait for the Birth of the Christ and then hold it fast, and carry it with us until spring. Light a candle in anticipation. Anticipation is like that little flame that sparks to life and then creates a little light. If we hold it close, it will light our path for the days to come.Look at the lyrics of “This little light of mine.” What are your memories of this song? Share the light of Christ with someone by writing a postcard. You don't have to have someone specific to send it to. If you don't address it to someone, we'll send it anonymously to someone we just look up in the phonebook, you can just sign your first name. Pray that the Holy Spirit works through the postcard to show the light of Christ, and place it in the manger.

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