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Posted by on Oct 16, 2018 | 0 comments

We Told Them Another Parable

For World Communion Sunday, 2018, Kevin Goldenbogen at his home congregation preached about the Parable of the Yeast from Matthew 13:33: “He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.” (New Revised Standard Version). The brevity and density of this one sentence parable lends itself to repetition and so before the sermon, and because it was World Communion Sunday, they invited 7 readers to read the story in a different languages. The information that follows could be adapted for use on most Sundays of the year.
Procedure:
  • A few weeks before the service, we intentionally invited speakers who collectively knew a variety of languages: european, african, sign language, etc.
  • Once all the readers were secured, we emailed them a list of: 1) the order they would speak, and 2) the place in the sanctuary they would speak (roughly encircling the congregation (i.e. balcony, side aisles, back, and front))
  • Just before the worship service that morning we briefly gathered as a reading team to walk through who would speak when, where and how
  • When it was time to read, and with no advance notice given to the congregation, the 7 speakers walked to their places
  • The first reader read in English (we are  an English speaking congregation).  After a slight pause, the other 6 read sequentially with a slight pause between each reading
  • Lastly, the first reader ended by reading in English for a final time.  In the end there were 7 readers, but the parable was read a total of 8 times
This was a simple way to add some interest and excitement to the Scripture reading time:
  • by gently surprising (no advance notice given)
  • by hearing languages we don’t usually hear
  • by repeating the story
  • by encircling them with the Word
  • by building anticipation for the sermon that followed
Try it…or some variation of it!!

© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2018

Kevin Goldenbogen is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ serving Charlotte Congregational Church in northwestern Vermont. He skis, runs, bakes bread, rides a red Vespa, and tries every day to follow Jesus. He is married to the perfect woman and has two boys who he loves beyond words.

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