Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how
often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers
her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing." (Luke 13:34)
An extra slide with the World Thinking Day badge for 2013 is included which may be helpful in your situation.
Danger: do not be tempted to quote scripture at everything an imagine
it acts like some sort of Star Trek shield that deflects every alien
attack. Perhaps it does but I haven't seen much evidence of that.
The temptation here is to think Scripture itself is the shield. It's
not. it is just a bundle of words. It's what we believe about that
particular bundle of words that makes the difference. Jesus in the
wilderness doesn't think that a few choice verses chucked in the
direction of the tempter (whoever that may be) is all he needs to do.
Scripture is used here to show what he trusts in and it is the trusting
in that belief that acts as the shield.
There is no magic here - sorry. There is no degree in rocket science
needed. It is just living the way of the Gospel and trusting that
promise we have been trusted with. Live it and it is enough. Scripture
verses are just the wallpaper and the poetry of the belief.
The temptation is to think we don't have to live in a particular way
in order to be spared temptation. And such songs as 'Yield not to
temptation' (it's not in our hymn book any more for good reason) don't
help. Live the Life. Love your neighbour. Love God. Sorted.
Okay its not quite as simple as that obviously but you get the idea.
Jesus quotes scripture because Jesus finds in scripture the poetry, the
images, the stories, that speak of what he trusts in. Jesus is saying: I
am with God. It is God who defines me, not you, you hairy, forked
tailed, cloven hoofed, curly horned devil (I'm using the original Hebrew
here, obviously!). I am defined in and through God, your offers of a
different definition (mainly 'me') aren't powerful enough to change
So get lost. To hell with you!
Jesus, at the end of the wilderness time, had decided to let God
define his life and cause and purpose, not the world and any devil you
find there. And things have never been the same since.
Hymns? Music that might be played that connects faith and culture
(Last week we had Belinda Carlisle with heaven is a place on earth which
worked for us at least, with transfiguration), and how would you tell
this story to children?