- 3 pairs of socks worn by the leader under their shoes- they should be distinct from each other
This gathering is about the concept of Holy ground. The leader tells the congregation that in the Bible in Exodus, Moses was invited or rather was told, to take off his shoes because he was standing on Holy ground. Explain that they are going to think about being bare foot just as Moses was when he took his sandals off and stood on Holy ground.
The leader takes off their shoes but then is wearing socks. Invite the congregation to think of that lovely feeling of taking their shoes off and relaxing. They may take their shoes off if they wish. This is now their space in the week to be on Holy ground- to relax and be at ease with God. Then point out that actually you aren’t barefoot as you’ve got socks on. These socks are your work socks so they kind of remind you of some of your worries through the week. Tell them that you are going to take off your socks so you can really be barefoot with God on Holy ground. Take off the sock on each foot carefully and of course people will see that you have got another pair on underneath it. Don’t comment on that right away. Instead ask everyone in the congregation to think about the worries that they’ve been walking with all week and will probably walk with again afterward the service and tell them to put these worries aside. Tell them that this is so they can be on Holy ground.
Now notice that there is still a pair of socks on your feet. Explain that these are the ones you were wearing the other day when you had an argument with someone, so you really don’t want to look at them because they remind you of the things you’ve done wrong. They remind you of the mistakes that you have made. Explain that you’re definitely going to take those off as you want to take off your sins and guilt. Invite the congregation to also take off their sins and give them to Jesus as we stand on Holy ground, whilst you slowly take off that second pair of socks. The final pair of socks will be revealed but again don’t obviously notice that but take a pause.
Then notice that there’s yet another pair of socks on your feet. These are your walking socks. You went for a long walk the other day and felt exhausted, a bit sweaty and pathetic afterwards. These socks remind you of how weak you are sometimes. Tell them that you want to take those off as well. Invite the congregation in their own minds to take off the weaknesses that they are aware in their own lives- of the things that they don’t feel strong enough to carry. This is so they can stand barefoot before God.
Take those socks off and now you really are barefoot. The leader can point out that they now have bare feet- ugly feet maybe, feet that have been battered by life but the point is that God loves and accepts them exactly as they are. He loves them and not for who they pretend to be, not for the socks or shoes that they hide behind.
As you pray, lead the congregation through the process again of putting aside all their weaknesses that are too heavy, the sins that they can’t seem to get off their conscience and the worries of life. Lead them to relax in God’s presence, knowing that they are on Holy ground as they worship the Lord together.