Lectionary resources for worship, faith formation, and service
“…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
“Alright, I know what the flag means. I got the crown with the name of the country on it. What I can’t figure out by Google or elsewhere is what the people to the left of the flag are carrying. A bowl? A flame carrier? Something copper? They tend to be youngish, confirmandish, vestigial…what is the meaning here? Yes, I am talking about the Olympics opening ceremony.” (Donna Schaper, Facebook status July 27).
It was fun to read some of the Facebook and Twitter comments from around the world, while watching the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. Amazing, wherever we were in the world, our focus was on London. Donna’s questions sparked a stream of responses, including:
“Every country was given a copper bowl. I don’t understand it either.”
“Well, I’m glad not to be the only international ignoramus.”
Then someone found a web link www.hollywoodreporter.com:
“A group of young athletes in line for the next Olympics were chosen, pushing the ‘Inspire a Generation’ theme. Each nation’s copper petal was lit before they came together to form a gorgeous fire flower on elevated stems.”
“I missed it, too subtle without a really extra large big screen?”
“I am waiting to be enlightened.”
We are in the middle of Olympic fever; maybe we have much to say about coming together and displacement, camaraderie and competition, humility and arrogance, gentleness and egotism, patience and impatience.
But right now I am thinking about the 204 copper petals that came together to make one dandelion, “fire flower,” in London on July 27, and the vision for life in the Christian community in Ephesians 4:1–16 — one body that grows together in love.
I am wondering what congregations might create, what metaphors might be used, on Sunday, August 5, as symbols of the coming together of people of differing ethnicities, cultures, abilities, ages, stages, and gifts.
What are your ideas? Thoughts? Suggestions? And how might the song, “Loving Jesus, Living Body,” (Stacy Smith) on page 140 be used?
Ephesians, Romans 12:1-8, and 1 Corinthians 12:12-17 offer the metaphor of Body, the activity sheet for younger children this week (page 146) offers an image of a jigsaw, Thomas Heatherwick (designer of the London Olympic cauldron) offers a dandelion of 204 petals. What else? Let’s encourage one another with ideas for this Sunday’s worship.
The Olympic “fire flower” will be dismantled and each petal sent home with the country it represents. What might be some ideas for sending out of the people after worship on Sunday?
And a thought: are we too subtle that people need to be enlightened as to what is the church? What might be some reasons people don’t get what or who we are?