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Jesus Is the Rock

For the 11th Sunday after Pentecost or Proper 16

(From “Saving the Ants.” Purchase book at left.)

Scripture Reference: Isa. 51:1 and Matt. 16:18

Preparation: Bring a box of large rocks that can be knocked together without chipping or crumbling.  kid-with-ambergris

Do any of you collect rocks? (Let children respond.) I brought a rock collection along this morning. These are all rocks that I like for one reason or another. I’ll show you some of them. (Show your rocks and talk about them.)

Isaiah, chapter 51, talks about rocks. It says, “Listen to me, all who hope for deliverance; all who seek the Lord! Consider the quarry from which you were mined, the rock from which you were cut!” (v. 1 NLT). Does anyone know what a quarry is? (A child may offer an answer.) It’s a place where you get rocks. If you want to get granite, you have to go to a granite quarry. If you want sandstone, you have to go to a sandstone quarry. Could you get sandstone from a granite quarry? No, not very likely. The two kinds of rocks are formed in very different ways and are found in different areas.

When it says, “Consider the quarry from which you were mined, the rock from which you were cut,” the prophet Isaiah is reminding God’s people to remember where they came from; to remember their ancestors, Abraham and Sarah, and how they trusted in God and in his promises. God’s people came from that family of faith, like rock comes from a quarry. Abraham and Sarah are our faith ancestors, too. They put their trust in God.

God’s promises are dependable and solid, like rock. There are a lot of hymns about Jesus being the solid rock on which we stand. It is a good way to describe Jesus. He’s solid. He doesn’t get washed away by trouble or time. Jesus has promised that he will always be with us, and he is always with us.

To celebrate Jesus being our rock, this morning I thought we could have some rock music. Would all of you like to be a part of our rock band? I’d like some of you to take two rocks and knock them together. Those are your instruments. The rest of you can clap your hands while you sing the chorus. The part I’ll be singing is pretty simple, too, and everyone can join in as soon as they feel like it. Ready? Let’s rock!

(Jesus is a Rock, by Larry Norman)

(E) Jesus is a rock, and he rolls my blues away… (Bop shoo bop, shoo bop, whoo)

(A7) Jesus is a rock, and he (E) rolls my blues away… (Bop shoo bop, shoo bop, whoo)

(B7) Jesus is a (A7) rock, and he (E) rolls my blues away (B7)… (Bop shoo bop, shoo bop, whoo)

(Repeat song several times, inviting kids to clap and congregation to join in.)

Thank you. You make an excellent rock band.

Prayer: Everlasting God, you are our solid Rock, and we put our trust in you.

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