I preached yesterday at Stromness Bapist Church. I wanted to share about the missio dei from the Scriptures without any weird sounding theological terms. Thankfully, the whole service was full of thoughts and quotes and songs that spoke of things like "our Great Big God" and his "great big plan", and the gospel being "life and health and peace" (O for a Thousand Tongues). The children's story - using great computer visuals (thanks to Mark Taylor), was about Rahab who was a great example of God including "others" in his great big plan.
So it came together quite well. We started in Genesis, and ended up in places like Luke 4 (Jesus ministry) and 2 Cor 5 (reconciliation). The theme was "Whatever" - a word i have found annoying in the past when my kids used it but now find it helpful in explaining the dimensions of God's great big plan. WHATEVER is alienated needs to be reconciled, whatever was broken and cut off needs to come back into God's care. Jesus came to seek and to save whatever was lost. Even the creation groans for its redemption.
I used the German video Digital Snapshot that I found last year through Jonny's worship tricks (number 100). I asked everybody to look for people like themselves and people who were different, like Rahab - the "others". The word "Whatever" stayed on the screen, showing the extent of God's great plan. We finished with communion which involved edible rice paper with the word "Whatever" painted with red food color - symbolising our participation in the plan of God and the body of Christ.
The most challenging and by far the most interactive part of the service was asking people to smile and be happy during the last part of the communion. Words from one of our hymns came back - "And leap, ye lame, for joy". God wants us all to be happy and come home.
[update - that video called Digital Snapshot is available here]