Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Worship Display To Link the Elijah Stories

got me thinking about the possibility of a display about Elijah that could be added to each week as you work through the five stories about Elijah that begin this Sunday.  It would be a great way to knit the stories of the Elijah cycle (which is not that familiar to most worshipers of any age) together and to keep those stories before the congregation for a month.

So what if you covered a table with beige burlap (for the dry world Elijah lived in).  For interest put boxes or bowls or books under the burlap to create different spots on which to display one item recalling each story.  The highest point on the table is the mountain site of the cave.  A bowl set on its side with the burlap pushed back into it forms the mountain top cave.  Set a good size rock in front to partly cover the cave entrance.  To one side of this mountain are a raised spot for Mt. Carmel and two flat areas – one for the vineyard and the other for the widow and her son.  On the other side, lay a Jordan River ribbon or strip of fabric and a slightly raised platform for the fiery chariot.  I’d set this up for the first Sunday then add story items each week.

It would also be possible to create a simple burlap banner to which items were added each week.

What to add for each story???

  1. Mount Carmel:  a small pile of charcoal pieces (hit a couple of charcoal briquettes with a hammer or burn a few sticks) OR simply blacken an area of the burlap with a black crayon
  2. The Widow and her son:  as Becky suggests a small pile of barley (find dried barley in the rice and bean section of the grocery) OR an almost empty bag of flour and jar of oil
  3. Naboth’s Vineyard:  a bunch of artificial grapes from the craft store or wherever artificial flowers are sold
  4. Elijah meets God at the cave:  maybe Becky’s paper fan for wind OR maybe nothing at all since it was in the silent nothing that Elijah met God
  5. Fiery Chariot: go to and print a large copy of one of the artist’s depictions of this event.  Prop it up as if on an easel.

If you have a small figure that could serve for Elijah move if from story to story as the weeks progress.  Find a shepherd figure from a crèche.  If your church uses the Young Children And Worship program, borrow one of those figures.  Or, any doll that stands or sits up could do the job.

Yes, it is a little late to start on something like this.  But, it’s summer and its only Wednesday!!!  So maybe….  And thanks, Becky!


  1. Love all of your ideas and find your material very helpful. Not to pick at things but to add to your horse illustration. I recall that "humble" means to be bridled by Christ. I often use the example with my horse's bridle to show how this does not hurt the horse but directs the horse's energy. We all should be bridled by Christ so our lives have wonderful direction!
    Thanks, Rev. Karen

  2. I love the material you are sharing. I wanted to add to the stubborn mule horse example that I understand "humble" to mean "bridled by Christ"
    I have often shown congo that the bridle does not hurt the horse but allows the rider to direct 2 thousand pounds of animal. If we are bridled by Christ we will go the right direction.

  3. Great ideas as the stories are long to read and kids eyes glaze over (so do the adults) while we have already begun, not to late to add this, might even encourage some of our once a month or so worshippers to come more often. Thanks Carolyn, I have your books and have been inspired by your ideas for a long time.

  4. Just saw this post here-- you're welcome Carolyn! Glad I could add to the body of ideas. I ended up a tiny bowl of cornmeal to represent the meal that the widow had, and the kids all felt the need to taste it. Eeew. But okay! We used twelve stones the first week, and I will probably get some artificial grapes this week. This week's story will be harder to tell the children I think, seeing as how it's like something ripped from today's news. But we'll see how it goes.

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