Things you will need:
- One large pitcher full of water. (Two if your group is large)
- Small paper cups/Dixie cups would be perfect.
- A place to meet outside for worship or a large tub or basin to catch the excess water.
- Give each person in your group a small paper cup and have them write on the outside of the cup any three words that would describe their lives right now.
- Have your group begin writing down all the things for which they are thankful. Give them a couple of minutes.
- Read the following passage and explanation to your group.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. Psalm 23:5 (NIV)
David paints a picture in this passage of the Lord as our gracious and lavish Provider. Even when circumstances in life are not looking good, God still provides all that we could possibly need and more.
David uses the imagery of a familiar custom here. You anoint my head with oil, which is a picture of a host refreshing and soothing his guest. It was also a sign of welcome. As David looks at the table that the Lord has set before him he knew that his life (his cup) was full and overflowing with blessings from God.
- Say something like this: "Thankfulness, the art of seeing the good in your life and giving thanks, is a huge part of worship. Tonight, we are going to give thanks for the many things God has given us. I am going to pass the pitcher of water, which represents God, and for each item on your thankful list that you comprised earlier, I want you to pour a little water in your cup, which represents your life. What I would like you to do is this: Say 'God I am thankful for…" and then pour water into your cup, and continue down your list pouring water into your cup after each time you thank God. (By the way you can pour more water in your cup for those blessings that mean the most to you.) When each person's cup gets full and overflows, we as a group are going to say this: 'Your cup overflows." And then we'll go on to the next person. (Be sure to do this over a tub/basin or outside)
- Leader, always model by going first. If your group is large have a second pitcher of water ready in case you need it.
- Leader, close worship by talking about how often we forget that God has given us so much … often to overflowing.