Lamb of God Children’s Activities

I’ve just been in ASDA and they’re selling sheep finger puppets for a pound. They also have sheep bags and baskets for £1.50.   

Go and sort out all of your Easter toddler worship needs!  

The Journey To The Cross

As we look towards Holy Week there are several online events taking place.  I intend to let you know about them all in the course of the next couple of days.  First of all, Duttyo is organising a set of online stations that will be posted each day at 9am from the 1st of April.

He has been producing stencilled graffiti boards in the style of Banksy for many years and this is a continuation of the theme for Holy Week.  I’m fortunate to have several of his pieces in my house.  Check it out!

If you hadn’t guessed, he came up with the Rock Mass logo.

Judas

So what does everyone think of the ‘controvercial new video’ from Lady Gaga?  Is it just me or has this been released about three weeks too late?

I can see it causing outrage to many but depicting Christ as a biker doesn’t really bother me.  Every time people try to be “controversial” they bring our gospel story to the forefront and invite us to talk about it.  The choice we have is whether we will engage with people or whether we will bring condemnation and sideline ourselves.

To be honest, a hairy biker like me is probably not the person to ask about this particular offering.  My main comment is “why would anyone do this to their ears”?  It is strange that they are all dressed in leather and riding chops.  If this was played at any bike rally I’ve been to there would probably be a fatality.

Extreme Vicaring

20110504-165015.jpg

Each venue auditioned an average of 14 vicars taking into account: a) their willingness to hold an alternative service, b) their experience in working in varied environments and c) their ability to hold mass at fifty plus miles per hour.

I think I could say mass at a bit more than 50mph. Where’s the challenge in that?

Faithfully Retelling Our Story

If you have visited my blog on a regular basis you may have noticed that I spend quite a bit of time talking about narrative and story. We are part of an ongoing historical narrative that has been told from generation to generation about the God who has chooses to interact with us throughout time. It tells of our ancestors and it points towards our future generations. Long before we had doctrines we had the story and we are asked to retell this story and continue to live it in our daily lives.

Tony Jones blogged about a sermon delivered by Nadia Bolz-Weber on Easter Morning. Nadia blogs here and tweets as @Sarcasticluther. It is a while since I have visited her blog so I was really glad to be pointed back to it by @jonestony. I’ve just watched the video (about 53 mins in) and it is brilliant. There is something about the way in which Nadia retells our salvation history that is compelling.

This is a leader we can follow. And the thing that really cooked people’s noodles wasn’t the question “is Jesus like God” it was “what if God is like Jesus”. What if God is not who we thought? What if the most reliable way to know God is not through religion, not through a sin and punishment program, but through a person. What if the most reliable way to know God is to look at how God chose to reveal God’s self in Jesus?

I won’t repost her sermon in full. Please watch it. Continue to faithfully retell our story.  Continue to faithfully live the next chapter of our story.  Be inspired. Be renewed. Be changed. Be a “a people who still have the dirt from our graves under our nails, while we stand here shouting Alleluia! Christ is risen”!!

[Yesterday I spent a long time writing this blog post and WordPress ate it. If it does it again I am going to give this up and take to living on a rock just north of Holy Island.]

He is Risen, Alleluia!!

Good Friday

declare this an emergency
come on and spread a sense of urgency
and pull us through
and pull us through
and this is the end
this is the end of the world

it’s time we saw a miracle
come on it’s time for something biblical
to pull us through
and pull us through
and this is the end
this is the end of the world

proclaim eternal victory
come on and change the course of history
and pull us through
and pull us through
and this is the end
this is the end of the world

We Will Not Be Disappointed

Thanks to Linus for recommending that I click on http://spring.inglasshouses.com/ 

This beautiful video comes with the tag line “Something about Easter”.  Indeed.

Worship Idea – The Trial

Each year all of the churches in town walk through to the town square and have a short act of remembrance on Good Friday.  Last year I had no idea what they were expecting.  I put on a Death Row shirt and slung a giant wooden crucifix over my shoulders and carried it at the front of the procession.  This year they asked me to do some form of bible reading in the Town Square when we get there.  It is a public performance really.  I suppose I’ll put on the convict outfit and hold a life-size cross whilst I do it this year.  I have rewritten John 19 (abridged) based upon The Message.  Please bear in mind that many of the phrases are easy to say in a broadish Yorkshire accent as I use the tools I’ve got.  Also, the bold parts will be practiced with a baying mob so that they don’t all shout them in unison.

The Trial (based upon John 19)

Pontius Pilate was the man responsible for governing Jerusalem.  He’d had Jesus publicly whipped because he was a troublemaker.  They were worried because too many people were following him. The soldiers who did it made a crown from thorns for him and rammed in down onto his head.  They kept giving him grief.  They had thrown a purple robe over him like he was royalty whilst shouting “Hail, King of the Jews!”.  Then they kept slapped him in the face.

Pilate went to the baying mob and said to them, “I present him to you, but I want you to know that I don’t find him guilty.  He hasn’t committed any crime.”

In a frenzy the crowd shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

But Pilate told them, “You take him. You crucify him. I find nothing wrong with him.”

Pilate did his best to pardon him, but the Jews shouted him down: “If you pardon this man, you’re no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone setting himself up as ‘king’ defies Caesar.”

When Pilate heard those words, he took Jesus outside into the square and sat down at the judgment seat.  It was noon on the day everyone was preparing for the Passover festival.

Pilate said to the Jews, “Here is your king.”

They shouted back, “Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!”

Pilate said, “You want me to crucify your king?”

The religious leaders answered, “We have no king except Caesar.”

At this Pilate caved in and sent him to be crucified.

They took Jesus away. Carrying his cross, they led him out of the city to the place they called Skull Hill.  Here they nailed him up, they crucified him with two criminals, one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate wrote a sign and had it nailed to the cross. It read:

   Jesus the Nazarene
   the king of the Jews.

Worship Idea – Maundy Thursday – Shine Some Shoes

I just noticed a rather intriguing post by a friend.  In Cottingham the clergy have been shining shoes in the market.  Anyone and everyone could have their shoes shined for free.

One comment he made was that it was amazing how many people wouldn’t take a free shoe shine.  I wonder if they were asking themselves what the catch was.