Following, or not – I Ki 19, Psalms 16 & 77, Gal 5, Luke 9

At the end of this post you’ll find your liturgy resources for this week’s passages, where we have three stories about following. Or not.

The Old Testament readings show either the call of Elisha in 1 Kings 19, or Elisha doggedly following Elijah and talking over his mantle in 2 Kings 2.  Then in the New Testament we have people not quite getting around to following Jesus because [insert excuse here].

This reminds me of one of my most popular printable crafts – the Excuse-O-Matic! It was originally designed to go with the parable of The Great Banquet, and we see the same “Oh, I’d love to follow you Jesus, but …” going on in Luke 9.

I must confess that it was hearing this passage, esp Luke 9:59, in church that thwacked me round the head a few years ago. I realised that I was putting off things saying, “First let me get my children potty trained.” “First let me get them in to school.” “First let me …”

By this time they were all in senior school. How much longer was I going to make excuses? There’s no point waiting for the perfect time because no time is ever perfect.

So I commend to your attention the Wallace-and-Gromit-esquely titled Excuse-O-Matic as a practical meditation on the excuses we make not to follow. Perfect for Messy Church, children’s / youth groups and school assemblies as well as regular church services. Remember, adults like visual stuff as well as kids!

PDFs and video instructions below.

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The Excuse-O-Matic!

Click here for original post 

Click here for printable PDFs

And here’s a video! (I know, I spoil you.)

Liturgy for Proper 8

Psalms 16 & 77, Gal 5, Luke 9

Confession and Absolution

Your way, O God, is holy,
but we confess that we have not walked your way.
O God we cry to you for help.
Hear us when we cry, O God.

For the whole law is summed up in a single command,
“Love your neighbour as yourself,”
and we have not.
O God we cry to you for help.
Hear us when we cry, O God.

You call us to live by the Spirit,
and be guided by the Spirit,
and we have not.
O God we cry to you for help.
Hear us when we cry, O God.

In the day of trouble we seek you, O Lord.
At night, our hands stretch out to you.
O God we cry to you for help.
Hear us when we cry, O God.

May the God of all mercy revive and restore us,
establish us and fit us for his purpose,
that, as God’s forgiven people,
we may faithfully follow.

Blessing and Dismissal

May the Lord counsel you by day;
at night, may his song be with you.
May you keep the Lord always before you;
and may your eyes be ever upon him.

May your heart be glad,
may your soul rejoice
and may your body rest secure
for in the Lord there is fullness of joy.

Go now,
in the strength that God provides,
to obey Christ’s call:
“Follow me.”

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