With two large glasses and a large bottle of fizzy drink (at least l.5 or 2 litres); a large plastic tray (to catch spills); kitchen roll or cloths (to mop up liquid).
Invite someone to pour themselves a drink, using one glass and the bottle. They are unlikely to pour out a full glass, so press them to take some more.
If they decline, take back the bottle and pour in some more almost to the top.
Invite them to take a mouthful or two. Immediately top up the glass.
Invite them to take another mouthful, and again top it up.
Point out that the glass is never going to be emptied, because no sooner does it empty slightly than it is filled up again.
And not just filled up, but filled to overflowing.
Pour in some more drink until it overflows the glass.
Remember the phrase from Psalm 23, used earlier: ‘You fill my cup until it overflows.’
Whoever wrote this psalm was reflecting on how God invites us to a grand feast where we are treated so well with sumptuous food and drink.
That is how God wants to treat us. He fills our cup (and imagine we are like a cup or glass) with so much of his love and joy that it overflows.
He keeps topping us up, not just a little bit (pour a little drink into the second glass),
not even a generous amount (nearly fill the glass),
but so freely that the glass overflows (fill the glass so it brims over).
This is the love that God offers us, and we can choose whether to accept it, or let it evaporate away eventually.
* * * *
So, Peter brought Dorcas (or Tabitha) back to life! Everyone was upset when she died. Peter prayed and God answered his prayer. giving Dorcas new life. The sadness of her family and friends was turned to joy. It wasn’t a resurrection, because it was the same Dorcas as before, and she would eventually die, but it was enough for now, enough for her family. They praised God, and many came to put their trust in him. I think this was an example of their lives being filled to overflowing.
Remember what happened on the first Easter Day? Jesus had been killed, but he rose again, a new life which was now offered to everyone. God’s power to bring about change and newness never ends. One of the messages of Easter is that there can always, always, be new life. That the bottle of drink would eventually run out if enough people had drinks, but God’s supply of love and joy never runs dry. God’s love is not limited to just a bottle-full.
What are we going to do this week? Can you look out for signs of God’s love during this week? Every time you see a drink, whether it’s a teapot, a can of coke, a cappuccino, an orange juice, or whatever, can you think about God pouring out his love and joy? You could even keep a running total of all the drinks you see in the week, and you might be surprised by how many reminders you see of God’s love and joy. If you don’t think you see many drinks, you could always come and help us in the coffee bar, where we always need more helpers, and you’ll see plenty of drinks.
Today we’re inducting some new Elders, which is always an exciting and important sign of new life in our congregation, but there are plenty of other signs, in the world arounds us, and in our own lives. We may not be like Peter and Dorcas, we may not find ourselves quite where the psalmist does, but God is still at work if we dare to look.
I want to end by asking you to imagine yourself as a glass, which is being filled with God’s love and power, and filled again and again. Close your eyes if you want to, and silently ask God to lead you to streams of peaceful water, and refresh your life. We’ll rest in silence for a moment.