This is an Aussie theme session. You can come up with some creative ideas for how you want to run this session. This is NOT about mocking anything Australian in any way. This is simply about looking at how Jesus turns things upside down. A better way of seeing this is that Jesus turns things the right way round!
Feel free to run the session with an accent if you can – or at least make a start with an accent!
Aussie themed Bible quiz
An Australian related Bible quiz for you! Yep, we’ve invented such a thing.. the clues are links to famous Bible events and people..! No offence intended anywhere!!
1. Another name for hell maybe? _ _ _ _ /_ _ _ _ _
(WOND / RUDEN)
2. Which TV program does the Bible tell us to love? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
3. Aussie version of person on which the church is built? _ _ _ _ _ /_ _ _ _
(YEARS / CORK)
4. Australian version of ‘Jacob’s Well’? _ _ _ _ _ /_ _ _ _ _ _ _
(LICAE / IGRPSSN)
5. Place of temptation? _ _ _ _ _ _ _
6. Bible character who was like a boomerang? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ /_ _ _ _ _
(TTRINSPSEE / DIWOW)
7. Origins of surfing? _ _ _ _ _ /_ _ _ _ _ _ _ /_ _ /_ _ _ /_ _ _ _ _
(SEJSU / LIAWNGK / NO / HET / RETWA)
8. City where science v Christianity debate began? _ _ _ _ _ _
And the answers!?!
1. Down Under
3. Ayers Rock
4. Alice Springs
6. Persistent Widow
7. Jesus Walking On The Water
Aussie Theme Ideas
1. Physically turn things upside down before people get there – chairs, the TV, the tables – anything and everything you can turn upside down. You can even get people to lie on their backs. Just have fun!
2. Show Crocodile Dundee (yep, I know it’s a bit cheesy and you can’t show all of it for various good reasons) or the episode of the Simpsons where they go to Australia. You can point out that this doesn’t accurately reflect Australia!!
3. You’ll need to have Hillsong or Planetshakers worship songs – or ones written by Australian worship leaders.
4. Can you have images on the wall of Aussie themed things – like the outback, surfing, images of the real native people – the Aboriginals, have an Australia map on the wall.
5. You can make the point that Australia’s aboriginal people have so much for us to learn and that they have suffered. There is a Ray Mears series on Australia and Bear Grylls did an Australia episode in his ‘Man vs Wild / Born Survivor’ series.
6. How about seeing if you can give everyone a small (and cheap!) toy or something that is ‘Australian’ in nature – a kangaroo, a koala etc.
7. The theme and purpose is to look at Jesus and how he turned things upside down (not just the tables in the Temple see Luke 19.45-48).
Upside down ways of seeing things – found in Luke
Luke 6.27-36 where Jesus tells us to love our enemies.
Luke 8.19-21 where Jesus challenges the meaning of family
Luke 9.10-17 where 5000 plus are fed using only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
Luke 12.49-53 where Jesus teaches he and his message came to cause division.
Luke 18.15-17 where we learn that the greatest in the Kingdom of God is the one who is like a child.
Let’s look at some Bible verses to see how Christians live in an upside down kingdom – where you have to go down to go up!
Matthew 5.3 – Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 20.26-28 – Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
In society, the people who make it are the ones who are powerful, rich, successful, on TV, the sports and movie stars. These are the people that others look up to. In a February 2010 UK survey, 54% of 16 year-olds said that they wanted to be famous. The list of role models was a list of stars – Wayne Rooney, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga, Richard Branson of Virgin etc.
But Jesus had a completely different way of seeing things. The Bible tells us that Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world as a baby born to a young mother in a small Israeli town. He didn’t come as many Jewish people expected as a mighty warrior, but instead as a ‘suffering servant’ as Isaiah 53 predicted correctly.
We’ve had fun having an Aussie theme night – turning things upside-down, but this is exactly what Jesus did and what Christians do today. God says he uses people who are poor in spirit, people who are humble, people who know they need God, who are peaceful, those who serve others so much they become like a slave (this doesn’t mean everyone can take advantage!!)
This is an upside-down way of doing things. Jesus didn’t win a mighty battle and kill 1000s of people with his beard. Instead, he willingly died on a Cross, having been tortured and rejected. But this single act changed the world and has changed the lives of billions of people who have lived ever since. It seemed like Jesus had lost when he died.
But the Bible tells us this in Colossians 2.13-15: “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.”
Today, thank God that you can live an upside down way so that you can live in the power that Jesus died to give you. The Bible says this:
John 16:33 – “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 John 5.4-5 – “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith… Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”