This service idea works well in response to a talk that encourages people to 'lay down our burdens' at the foot of the cross. Or you could use it on its own as a 'way in' to more intimate music worship. Probably a good idea to have a group of people available to offer prayer support if people want it (you may have a prayer team). There are PowerPoints of the Bible verses. You could read the following paragraphs by way of introduction and explanation:

Some of us carry small, individual burdens that cause us to walk through life with some hindrance. There are some of us who carry many small burdens. The collective weight of these burdens is beginning to be too much for us to carry. And some of us carry much larger burdens that have simply become too much to bear.

You may carry a burden that has come to you completely outside of your control. You may not even have known how much the burden was weighing you down until you suddenly realised that its weight had actually become unbearable.

God doesn't want us to carry our burdens. He asks us to lay them down at the foot of the cross. He wants us to surrender our heavy loads to him.

Psalm 68v 19-20 says, "Praise be to the Lord, to God our Saviour, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves, from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death."

And Isaiah 61v 1-3 reads "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve - to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."

It takes an act of our own will to give up our burdens. We can sit in the presence of God and hear him speaking to us but today we need to take action to allow God to give us total peace by laying down that which causes us pain. The act of laying down your burden may be just the beginning for you - it may be totally appropriate for you to seek further assistance in finding complete peace. Or it may be that a simple act of faith and surrender is all that it needs.

You may like to remain in your seat as we continue in our time of response. Or you might like to come and take a small boulder (representing a burden) out of this basket and lay it at the foot of the cross. For some of us a physical act of obedience can be a helpful aid to the unseen act of the will.