#BIGRead14: Week 3: Occasions


Poem: Coffee Break

Bible Readings

Luke 19: 1-10 there was a man named Zacchaeus

Luke 4:21 Today this Scripture has been fulfilled

The theme of this week is to look at the occasions, big and small, that affect our daily physical and spiritual lives.


    • Listen to this weeks poem

Get a bowl of Skittles (or Smarties, or strips of paper), and think about them as symbolising occasions that are memorable, and think why. We think Skittles have the following colours:

  • Purple: A ‘big’ occasion
  • Green: Peaceful, contemplative
  • Red:  Dangerous, Anger, Traumatic
  • Yellow: A Holiday
  • Orange: Today

This is not intended to be random. Pick a colour with which you are happy to share a story with the group. Eat, or collect!

Main: What does it mean to have ‘a proper purple’ occasion?

1. Read the Bible readings for this week

2. Watch Stephen Cherry’s reflections

3. Hear the reflection from Ellis B:

4. This is the ‘ultimate occasion’ in Zaccheus’s life, when he comes home to God, and is accepted without reservation… a proper “purple” occasion (note the colour purple is often associated with royalty, nobility and luxury).

Do you believe that God loves us without reservation?

5. Check out this image from Korea:

  • What do you notice in the picture?
  • What does the arm gesture suggest? Without reservation?
  • What about Zaccheus’ expression? Any reluctance?
  • What do you see amongst the faces in the crowd?
  • What might have been your expression?
  • What do you know about Roman tax collectors? Why might people have been so unhappy? What is the modern day equivalent?
    Leader: Explain that tax collectors worked for the Romans, but often took extra taxes for their back pocket. Zaccheus was Chief, so would have been particularly despised and hated.
  • How might you read this story as bad news? Good news? Is it for us?
  • Have you ever had a Zaccheus occasion in your life, when you felt God’s love without reservation?

Chilled Dessert:

Light a candle, and get the group to read the poem in a round. One of the poems for this week focuses upon Evensong. Leader: Ensure that the group understand that Evensong is a beautiful meditative occasion in early evening, a service of prayer in the Church of England, including the following (to play to the group)


  • Commit yourself at the end of the day to stop, (light a candle), come in prayer with one occasion in the day that you regret, and one that you are deeply thankful for.
  • Start a ‘thankful jar’ (spotted on Pinterest). Regularly (daily?) place a strip of paper with something you are thankful for into a jar. On down days, or at the start of a new year, take some out and read them.
  • Look at #3GoodThings Online (http://j.mp/3-good-things)
  • The ‘coffee cream’: pray for those who grew your coffee beans (or similar) each time that you drink a cup.

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