Dec 22

1st Sunday After Christmas (Year C)

1 Samuel 2:18-20,  26
  • Just a few weeks have passed since we talked about Hannah and her deep desire to bear a son.  Now, we are introduced to her son: Samuel.
  • Hannah had dedicated her son to the Lord and to the Lord’s service in the temple.  Still, she remained connected to him by making a robe for him every year.
  • You may want to decorate your worship space with sewing, weaving, or other fabric arts related materials (illustrating the robe that Hannah made for Samuel every year).
  • Hannah gave up the very thing that she had prayed so hard to gain.  What about us?  Are we willing to give back to God all that we ask God to give us?
Psalm 148
  • The imagery in this psalm gives us a lot to work with in our worship displays.  Pictures and paintings of the many aspects of nature/creation that are named in the passage could be projected or displayed in your worship space.
  • People of all ages are said to praise God in this text.  How welcoming is your worship to each age group?  If you do not normally welcome people of a particular age (children, perhaps), make it a point to welcome them in worship (and, perhaps, not just forone day).
Colossians 3:12-17
  • This text is perfectfor a series of prayer/worship stations:
    • Don’t just talk about clothing yourselves — actually clothe yourselves.  Set up a station where people can put on clothing that is labeled with the words/characteristics found in verse 12: compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.
    • Or… Set up a station where people can make t-shirts or pins/buttons that enable you to “put on” or “clothe yourselves” with the words/characteristics listed in verse 12.
    • Set up a worship station where people are invited to both forgive and experience forgiveness.
    • Set up a station where you can bind things together (perhaps with strips of cloth – reminding us of the clothes Christ was swaddled with in the manger).  What could you bind together?  How about popsicle sticks that are labeled with your name and the names of those to whom you need to be reconciled?
    • Set up a station where people can express the ways that God’s peace is made real in their lives.
    • Conclude with a time of singing praises to God — perhaps in the form of a carol-sing.  Or, you could all go carolling in the neighborhood.
Luke 2:41-52
  • With the reading from 1 Samuel and this passage, you could write a sermon called “A Tale of Two Temples”.
  • Just a few days ago, Jesus was an infant in a stable.  Now, he is a pre-teen with an apparent lack of respect for his earthly parents.
  • Where do we expect to find Jesus?  Time and time again in our scriptures, Jesus is found in unexpected places… having unexpected conversations.

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