Monday, 23 June 2008

Sunday Reflections

Yesterday was - as usual - a very busy In the morning, extra children meant that my Sunday School class had 11 children - usually its only 5 or 6. We are using Click material these days, and started with it last September. It is extremely good, and very flexible - the plus points for me being that it is well-planned and has loads of ideas. I am not rushing around trying to find extra things to pad out the lesson - rather the material is more of a pick'n'mix and it is possible to choose the stuff which is appropriate for the group. I would recommend it whole-heartedly to any church looking for an alternative lesson plan.

Anyway we had a really good time discussing Paul and Silas in Philippi. The group is aged 8-11, and we have been working hard to get them to pray out loud at the end of the session. There's usually a few giggles, but on the whole they are beginning to get the hang of it, and occasionally say some quite surprising [and moving] things. Having visiting kids I didn't know yesterday, I said "If you don't want to say a prayer, just say 'Amen' and let the next person speak" In fact, most did pray on the 'first round' then one said "Oh I have got a prayer now!" and we went round again.

Spent the afternoon [whilst Bob watched the Grand Prix!] finishing off preparation for the evening. Why is it that leading worship and preaching seems to also leave me a little anxious about trivia? I can't wear the skirt I was going to wear - because there's nowhere for me to fix the pack from the radio mic! And I've chosen two hymns where the organist needs to source the tunes elsewhere, will that work out OK? And should I wear the clip on mic, or try out the new headset mic? And why do I find it harder to preach when Bob is in the congregation - that is utterly stupid I know, but I have this sense he would do it better. [Even though I know that if God has got ME there, then He will give ME the sermon he wants preached]

Got to church in good time,and discovered that the headset mic feels really uncomfortable on me [my head is smaller than Bob's I think!] Elizabeth was there- having only just got home from India. That was lovely, and I look forward to a proper chat when she has recovered from all the travelling.

music The first hymn went OK [Be the God of All My Sundays], sung to Beethoven's 9th] the second was disastrous! It was one I really like {Baptist Hymn Book 218] Star Whose light Shines O'er Me,  which I like sung to the tune Princethorpe. But it was more like One Song to The Tune of Another on "I'm Sorry I haven't A Clue." Never mind - we moved on with the rest of the service.

Then I got to the Intercessory Prayers. I had thought I was well mugabe prepared-made a proper list of topics etc beforehand. But slipped up and almost prayed for the Philistines instead of the Philippines! Then got on to Zimbabwe. Mugabe has said "only God" could remove him from office. It was hard to get the words right there - and not actually ask the Lord to get rid of him immediately! Retreated into the usual cliches about justice and freedom, and prayed simply that God would humble him.

Finally got to the sermon - and everything fell into place then, by the grace of God. It is so lovely preaching to such a responsive congregation - especially when the comments afterwards are positive and there is a sense of having connected with people and helped them gain insights into Scripture. Looking forward to going to the URC in Groby in 2 weeks time now. I might even rework this Psalm 23 sermon again for them! [unless I get inspired by something else in the meantime] but I will definitely choose the music a little more carefully next time.

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