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BIBLE PASSAGE: Luke 10:25-37
BACKGROUND: This is perhaps one of the best-known parables, yet it sometimes loses its potency when we view it as being about people in a faraway land. This service seeks to challenge us all to be good neighbours in our own worlds.
OPTION ONE: Chatting together
As people arrive (or at the start of the service), encourage them to talk to those seated near them about their week. Has anyone been a ‘good Samaritan’ to them this week, perhaps performing a good deed or helping them unexpectedly? Have they had an opportunity to be a good Samaritan to someone else?
OPTION TWO: Story treasure hunt
You will need: items to hide around the church: a toy donkey, a bag of coins, bandages and a bottle of water
Before the service, hide these objects around the church building. When you get to this point in the service, ask the congregation if they can find any of these items around the building and bring them up to the front. When you have gathered them all together, ask the congregation if they can work out which story we will be
telling today. What other objects might they add to this story?
You will need: a selection of Bible character costumes and simple props; volunteers; a Bible
Ask for volunteers of all ages to take on the key roles in the story of the good Samaritan found in Luke 10:25-37: the man, a group
of robbers, a priest, a Levite, a Samaritan and an innkeeper. You will also need a narrator who will read the text aloud.
Gather your volunteers and invite them to quickly select appropriate costumes or props, then direct them as to where to base themselves for the storytelling. (You can spread the volunteers out ready to perform the story, making good use of your building to ensure that everyone can see.) Explain to the volunteers that as the narrator reads the passage they should act out the story, miming at the appropriate points. Ensure that the narrator regularly pauses to allow the actors time to engage with the story.
Ask the narrator to read Luke 10:25-37, and as they do the volunteers should mime appropriate responses to the story, making use of the props provided. You can encourage the rest of the congregation
to add their own sound effects, perhaps booing or cheering at relevant moments.
You will need: copies of the questions below; Bibles
Gather in small groups made up of one or two families, or of mixed-age groups. Give each group a Bible and a copy of these questions:
- If you had heard Jesus tell this story, what would you think?
- What would you like to say to the characters in this story?
- What does this story tell you about loving your neighbour?
- Who would the Samaritan character be in your neighbourhood?
Give the groups time to chat about these questions, referring to the Bible passage if they need to.
You will need: a roving mic (if needed)
Get some feedback from the small groups on one or two of the questions from ‘Small groups’, using a microphone if needed
to ensure that everyone can hear what is being said.
Set these three activities up in different parts of your meeting place. Explain what they are and encourage people to go to the one that will help them process what they have discovered most effectively.
OPTION 1: Role play
You will need: a selection of props and costumes (these can be gathered from congregation’s own possessions); a Bible Challenge the group to create a short role play or a series of freeze frames to translate the story into a modern-day setting. Encourage the group to make use of real-life situations to explore how powerful this story is when we understand the tensions between people groups. For example, these could be Remainers and Leavers, City and United, or local villages or estates where tensions exist. Encourage the group to be sensitive about the related issues without losing any of the story’s power.
OPTION 2: Collage
You will need: Bibles; a large roll or sheet of paper; newspapers and magazines; craft materials; scissors; glue sticks
Ask the group to work together to create a large collage that visually represents the parable. Rather than trying to create a story- board of the narrative, encourage the group to pull out words, phrases and images
from the newspapers and magazines that visually represent themes from the text. Leave this collage up on display for the rest of the church to see.
OPTION 3: Good neighbours
You will need: paper and pens
Ask the people in this group what they can do to show neighbourly love to others. What does it mean for us to put this teaching
into practice? Encourage the group to be very practical in the ideas they have and, as they talk, to create a list of ideas they can put into action in the week ahead. Invite the group to commit to implementing one or two of these actions, perhaps sharing the list of ideas with the wider church throughout the week.
Gather everyone together and thank them for their involvement in the activities today. Ask what has challenged them most, perhaps reflecting quietly for themselves or calling out loud. Encourage them to take away this challenge, ready to act on it in the week ahead. Pray for the group as a whole that we would all be the best kind
of neighbours in the communities in which we live.
CREATIVE WORSHIP SUGGESTIONS
The songs you choose to sing could reflect what it means to be loved by God and how we can act on that love, sharing it with others in the world around us.
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