Cloudy with a Chance of Glory + Making a Prophet (script)

The weather forecast is, “Cloudy, with a chance of glory over high ground.” (Click image to download larger version.)

This week’s readings have a lot of clouds. Moses and the cloud, Jesus and the cloud, Peter and his big mouth and the cloud.

Following the theme you could add the ascension, the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, and Solomon and his new temple. You know, that bit where they had to stop the service of dedication ‘cos God showed up in a cloud and no-one could see their hymn-books in front of them. Love that bit.

Anywho. Here is a fab up-front demo about clouds – great for All-Age Worship, Schools work, RE lessons, youth groups, Messy Church or even (dare I say it?) events with only adults! Oh yes. Adult learning does not HAVE to be stuffy, boring and bland. Try it. You might find that folks remember it for once. 

Lectionary-linked liturgy resources are below, as ever, plus (oh yes, there’s more) a script and video for a mini-drama about the nature of prophecy.  Phew! What a mega-bundle this week! Blessings,

Transfigurations links

A reminder that I produce these resources for free because I believe this stuff is important, so if you’d like to support the work, there are many ways you can do this:

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Cloud in a Bottle

Here are two ways of making your own cloud in a bottle. The first is in this science-and-faith video (watch to the end for some silly out-takes) and the variation, which does not need matches, is described below. 

The cloud-forming works by making vapour form little droplets when the pressure is released (this drops the temperature by a few degrees). Water vapour needs to form on tiny particles (nucleation sites), which is why you need the smoke. I’m told that hairspray also works, but I’ve not tried it. This second version, below, uses ethanol (alcohol) instead of water. This evaporates more easily than water and does not need nucleation sites, so you can form a cloud with just hand sanitiser!

You will need:

  • A clear plastic botte with a screw lid
  • liquid hand sanitiser (not gel) Make sure is has a high alcohol content. Rubbing alcohol, meths and vodka should also work(!)

What to do:

  1. Put a couple of squirts of sanitiser in the bottle and close the lid tightly.
  2. Shake the bottle to spread the alcohol around and help it evaporate.
  3. You now have a bottle full of invisible alcohol (ethanol) vapour.
  4. Squeeze the bottle tightly. This increases the pressure and raises the temperature by a few degrees. 
  5. Hold it! Let the heat dissipate (spread to the surroundings) for 5 seconds.
  6. Release! Let the bottle go suddenly. The temperature will drop and the ethanol vapour will come out of solution and appear as a cloud.
  7. Squeeze the bottle the make the cloud disappear and release it to get the cloud back. Awesome!

Liturgy Resources for Last Sunday after Epiphany

Exodus 24:12-18, 2 Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 17:1-9

Confession and Absolution

The voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
Lord, we confess that we have failed to listen and failed to obey.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

When the disciples heard the voice, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.
Lord, we confess that we have acted out of fear instead of faith.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.”
Lord, we confess that we have not heeded your touch and ignored your words of comfort.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

May the God of all grace pardon and restore us
and fill us with wonder at his glory.

Blessing and Dismissal

May God the Father, who spoke to Moses on the mountain,
speak ever in your hearts.
May God the Son, who showed his glory to Peter, James and John,
show his glory through your lives.
May God the Spirit, who moves her children to speak,
stir your hearts and minds to proclaim the glory of the Lord.

And may the blessing of God be with you and those whom you love
until the day dawns and the morning star rises upon you.

Go in peace to proclaim God’s glory.
In the name of Christ,

Making a Prophet

Click here for printable script (PDF)

Full script below and here’s a video of the sketch

Making a Prophet (Inter-gen Slot 1 Cor 14:1-5 & 26-33)

Bob is sensible, has Bible open at 1 Cor 14

Fred is silly, has jogging gear, doughnut and money bag, headband with large ears

Bob        Good morning. Today we will be learning about the Holy Spirit and Prophecy, and I’d like to start by reading to you from 1 Corinthians, chapter 14. [reads first few verses]

Fred       [jogs on in running gear and does exercises] It’s alright. It’s alright. I’m here!

Bob        Oy! Do you mind? I’m trying to read about prophecy. What do you think you’re doing?

Fred       I’m getting fit. Doin’ my exercises. Getting my big muscles. Do you like them?

Bob        [feeling muscles] Oh yes, lovely. [coming to senses] No, no! Why are you here?

Fred       Well, you’re talking about prophets, right?

Bob        Yeeees?

Fred       Well, that’s me, innit? I’m a prophet. I’ve got my joggers and my sweatband and soon I’ll be all strong and tough and everyone will have to do what I say ‘cos I’m Pro Fit, pro-fit, prophet. Geddit?

Bob        No! That’s not what being a prophet is. It’s nothing to do with big muscles and making everyone do what you say. Shoo! Off you go!

Fred       [slopes off, disappointed]

Bob        [to cong] Ladies and gentlemen, I do apologise for that interruption. Now where was I? [continues reading]

Fred       [waddles on with bag of money and doughnut] It’s alright. It’s alright. I’m here!

Bob        You again? What are you up to this time?

Fred       Well, you’re talking about prophets, right?

Bob        Yeeees?

Fred       Well, that’s me, innit? I’m a prophet. I’ve got my money bag and my doughnut and soon I’ll be a nice fat profit [ba-dum-chaa!]

Bob        [head in hands] No, no, just … no.

Fred       Yes, yes, yes! I’ve got it all worked out. If I’m a prophet then I know what’d going to happen in the future, so I can go to the bookies and bet on the horse that I know will win and then [shakes money bag] ker-ching!

Bob        Being a prophet isn’t being a fortune-teller, and it’s certainly not about cheating on bets. Off you go. Go on, skedaddle!

Fred       [slopes off, disappointed, getting sympathy from congregation]

Bob        [to cong] Don’t encourage him. Now, to get back to my reading. [continues reading but keeps looking towards Fred, slowing down and eventually stopping] Well?

Fred       Well what?

Bob        Aren’t you going to bounce on and interrupt me again?

Fred       [slopes on looking disconsolate] No, I’ve been listening to what you were reading, and I think I got it wrong. It’s not Pro-Fit, getting big muscles and making people do what I say.

Bob        You’re right. It isn’t.

Fred       And it’s not about fortune telling and getting a big bag full of money.

Bob        That’s certainly true.

Fred       I got it all wrong. [gets sympathy from congregation]

Bob        [to cong] Oh, don’t. There’s enough ham acting without all that.

Fred       But I got it all wrong!

Bob        Actually, I think you (eventually) got it all right!

Fred       I did?

Bob        You did. Prophecy is about listening. Listening to God and hearing what he is saying. The prophets of the Bible were godly people who were good at hearing God and speaking his words into a situation.

Fred       So I don’t need big muscles?

Bob        Nope.

Fred       And I don’t need big money bags?

Bob        Nope.

Fred       I just need big ears! [puts on headband with big ears]

Bob        Now you’ve got it!

Fred       Pardon?

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