Traditions fascinate me.
For many of us, we do things without really thinking why. It’s just the way we’ve always done it.
In church, traditions are even more apparent.
But I want to know why. Why is it that we do things a certain way?
Take prayer for example. As a teenage I was encouraged to pray out loud. That this was some kind of ‘badge of honour’ that showed you were a real christian.
In my current place of work, I also try to encourage young people to pray out loud.
It seems to me that asking young people to pray out loud really has nothing to do with prayer at all. If it really was to do with prayer then we wouldn’t ask our young people to pray out loud. Why should we pray out loud? Does it make a difference? Doesn’t God hear it anyway?
Praying out loud is more about affirmation. Affirmation for the prayer(er) and affirmation for the hearer.
We affirm the one praying is doing a good job and we affirm the listener because more than likely they have asked for a prayer request.
Corpororate ‘out loud’ prayer then is more about us than God.
Would you agree? And is that necessarily a bad thing?
Over the years I’ve made a number of little short films.
Many of these I have used with youth groups to spark discussions.
And I wanted to make them available for other groups to use.
Included here is an embed to the short film and some basic discussion questions. If you would like a ‘hard’ copy of the films then please message me and I can get one done for you. The cost would be £5 and all funds would go towards making another short.
Short film #1- “Shore”
A man awakes alone on a beach, haunted by a figure in black.
For me, the film deals with a number of themes including hell and the choices that we make in life. The character in the film commits an act that haunts him for eternity. He becomes trapped in his own personal hell because of the guilt and shame that has built up.
Questions for discussion
1) Have you ever felt the way the man in the film does?
2) Where do you think the man is? Is he in hell? What is hell to you?
2) What kinds of things do you feel guilty about?
3) Do you struggle to forgive yourself for these things? Why/ Why not?
4) Do you think God can forgive you for these things?
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28)
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
1) Fill a large jar with water and have a number of small soluble tablets. Ask the young people drop the tablets into the water and watch them dissolve, explain to them that this is just like God forgiving the bad things they have done.
2) The rocket confessional on proost
an interactive flash confession created by Jon Birch. Type in your confession and watch as it is launched into space and be absolved.