In 2013 Becky Ardell Down shared an idea about helping worshipers knit together the stories about Elijah that begin next Sunday by adding an item related each week’s story to a large burlap display. Read her original comment HEREThat led me to thinking in more detail….
So what if you covered a table with beige burlap (for the dry world in which Elijah lived). 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.
Or, you could introduce the Jewish practice of leaving an empty chair for Elijah at the Seder meal with a fancy or old chair in which the display of the week could be set. Displays from previous stories could be arranged around it on the floor.
What to add for each story???
Mount Carmel: several sticks with foil flames “burning” from them OR 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
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
Naboth’s Vineyard: a bunch of artificial grapes from the craft store or wherever artificial flowers are sold
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
Fiery Chariot: go HERE to choose one artist’s depictions of this event to print large on stiff paper. 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. Mine is a souvenir doll a friend brought from a Caribbean trip.
The Elijah stories start next Sunday, May 29th. Look for specific suggestions each week for using the displays to explore the stories.