To introduce the subject of lament, this is a visual way to engage people with the concept of the brokenness of the world we live in. It lends itself to preceding an explanation of the gap between the brokenness of the world and our understanding of God’s goodness and care for his creation. It works well as a lead-in to an exploration of why we need to lament individually and corporately for the ways that brokenness touches our lives and the lives of people around the world.

Silently, take one of the world maps out of the bag and hold it up for everyone to see. Then start to rip it into pieces, and subject the pieces to different conditions: burn some around the edges, screw other pieces up or stamp on them, put some in water and cover others with dirt, put some under the lamp to indicate scorching. Finally, put the rest into the blender and whizz it up, tipping the pieces out onto the table or floor.

Leave the pieces scattered around through your time of worship, study or prayer. At the end, slowly and deliberately begin to gather up the pieces, out of the water, dirt and from the heatproof tray, out of the blender and away from the light. Put the pieces into the bag, and have another person (preferably) read the words from Revelation 21:3-5a as you remove the second map from the bag, unfold it and hold up for all to see.