April 2019 — His Goodness Reigns (Rains)

April 2019 — His Goodness Reigns (Rains)

Decoration

Using fishing twine hang open umbrellas, with the handles pointing down, from the ceiling. Attach pale blue streamers to the umbrellas representing rain. Cover the tables with pale blue tablecloths.

Refreshments

Make a rainbow-colored veggie plate (red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers, green cucumber, orange carrots). Provide hummus and ranch dressing for dipping. Cut an orange in half and slice the halves to make half moon shaped slices of orange. Attach these to a bendy straw to make the bend of the straw look like the handle of the umbrella. You can also use half-unpeeled Babybel® cheeses.

Program Ideas

How Many Words?

Ask the women to write the word “umbrella” and “rain” on the top of a white paper table map. They are to see who can come up with the most words using only the letters found in these two words. Give a new umbrella as a prize.

My Umbrella

Ask the women to bring an umbrella from home that maybe is a little different. Have them share where they bought it. Invite them to share a funny rain story or a memory associated with rain.

Did You Know?

The word for umbrella evolves from the Latin word ‘umbella.’ An Umbel is a flat–topped rounded flower. In Britain in the late eighteenth century, umbrellas were sometimes referred to as ‘Gamps.’ ‘Brolly’ is a slang word for umbrella. ‘Bumbershoot’ is a fanciful Americanism from the late nineteenth century. The history of the umbrella goes back to the first century. In ancient Egypt, they were used as a mark of distinction. In Ancient Rome, umbrellas were used for protection. In Siam, nobles carried umbrellas with painted cloths hanging from them. In the 17th and 18th century umbrellas were used as shade from the sun and were known as ‘parasols.’ In the late 18th century umbrellas, coated with wax, were known to be used for protection from rain. They also became used for self-defense. In the 20th century, umbrellas were refined as self–defense weapons and became modernized with self–opening buttons. They have influenced art and architecture alike. But often they are thought of as only basic household objects, often lost in the bottom of purses or retrieved from under car seats.

Rain, Rain, Rain

But why are we thinking about the rain and umbrellas?

Read 1 Corinthians 15:1–4.

In 1 Corinthians 2 we are reminded that the “good news” saves us and that it is most important (verse 3). What is this good news? It is that Christ died for us, was buried and raised on the third day. As a result of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection we have new life in Him. His blood, shed on the cross, has saved us from the penalty of sin, has overcome the power of sin in our lives and has given us a new life in Christ now and for eternity.

This is the news that we can stand firm on today. How often do we think that we are too bad to be saved or that we are not sinners and therefore too good to need God? The truth is that we were all born in sin. We are all sinners; sin separates us from God. But Christ died for our sins and His shed blood means that when we accept Him God no longer sees us as sinners but as His redeemed children. We are no longer under sin’s power but empowered in Christ to overcome it and to receive the reward of eternal life. This is indeed a cause for celebration. So today, we celebrate that Christ’s goodness “rains” on us. What a good gift He gave us.

Umbrellas save us from getting wet or protect us from the rays of the sun. But have you ever put that umbrella down and raised your face to the sun and let the rain fall on your face? Your tongue? Have you ever danced in the rain? Kids love to do this.

There’s a children’s song that Barney the purple dinosaur used to sing:

“If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops, oh what a rain that would be!
Standing outside with my mouth open wide Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah.
If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops, oh what a rain that would be!
If all the raindrops were bubble gum and ice cream, oh what a rain that would be.
Standing outside with my mouth open wide Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah.
If all the raindrops were bubble gum and ice cream, oh what a rain that would be.”

So, if you think of God’s gift to you as a rain of goodness, why would you not stand in this rain and open your arms and let it soak you?

In closing sing song #314 “There Shall Be Showers of Blessing” from The Salvation Army Song Book. Open your arms and as you sing think of God’s gift raining down upon you, covering you and changing you.

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