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Year A, Easter 5, 2017 – Stone Houses

May 9, 2017 / Molly Douthett / Easter

Hey! Welcome back! When I was a child, I was given a copy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book “On the Banks of Plum Creek”. It was the fourth book in her series about her life growing up in various places in the American West. This particular book was about her family’s time in Minnesota just after they left the Little House on the Prairie in the Kansas/Oklahoma Territories. The house the Ingalls family moved into On the Banks of Plum Creek couldn’t have been more different than the log house they left behind. For one thing, they were no longer out in the open; for another, they were living in a house built into the banks of the creek! I remember being surprised that this could happen but the way the story was written, it seemed the most natural thing in the world to move into a one room house with a sod roof. The tone of the book is largely responsible for my being able to accept this unusual living arrangement. Laura wrote about her family in such a way that I not only could see what she was writing about, but I could see myself living with her and Pa and Ma and Carrie and Mary and Grace. The stories are about growing up in “pioneer times” but they are also about a family and the resilience and strength of their relationship. The three passages for this Sunday are also about strength and resilience. Let’s go see how.

This week’s texts are:  

Acts 7:55-60 [01:59] 

If you have read enough of one author, you begin to notice echoes of previous works. For some authors, the echo is subtle or maybe something that slipped past an editor. Stephen King did this deliberately, often referencing characters and places that were in his earlier books. Since Luke is the author for both the Gospel and the Book of Acts, you might find yourself thinking Stephen’s (the deacon, not King) words at his execution sound a lot like Jesus’ during the crucifixion. In WORD smart, we also make that connection and have a suggestion for a special effect. We are most familiar with this passage about Stephen’s martyrdom, but need to remember there is a reason for it. We have a quote by Matt Skinner in BODY smart that emphasizes the need to keep the context surrounding the passage intact. Stephen was stoned for a reason, and we have an illustration in PEOPLE smart that helps explain that. We have an idea for a special effect here and in SELF smart that could be very powerful, too.

 

1 Peter 2:2-10 [11:17] 

The author in 1 Peter uses a lot of metaphors in this passage. We have a suggestion for showing this with illustrations and a special effect in WORD smart. Stones make an appearance in this passage, but in a way that is more positive than in Acts. We use the author’s metaphor about being living stones building spiritual houses in EYE smart. We explore the stumbling block mentioned in verse eight in BODY smart and have a link below to the importance of mother’s milk for good development. We revisit stones in NATURE smart and have a way to bring the darkness of the Acts passage into better light. Finally, in PEOPLE smart, we have a link about Christians in the world today who call themselves living stones which guides the way they live in the world.

 

John 14:1-14 [20:52] 

Be certain to check out the worksheet for some interesting information we had for WORD smart. We chose not to use it in the interest of time. In EYE smart, we got to thinking about Thomas’ not knowing the way to follow Jesus which got us to thinking about being lost on journeys. We have some clips that reveal a GPS device is not always helpful in finding the lost! For MATH smart, we have a fun puzzle for an illustration. In BODY smart, we have a video clip of the Harlem Globetrotters that illustrates Philip’s request to see the father. We have two suggestions for hymns referencing the way, truth, and life in MUSIC smart. In PEOPLE and SELF smart, we have some questions about rooms being readied and great works done in Jesus’ name.

 

Image credit: Copyright: pzaxe / 123RF Stock Photo. Used by permission.

 

 

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