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Year B, Ordinary 25 (Proper 20, Pentecost +18), 2018 – The Greatest

September 20, 2018 / Molly Douthett / Ordinary Time

Hey everyone! We’re back after two weeks away! David is wrapping up the long tour portion of his sabbatical and we’re heading back home having spent two weeks in New Mexico and Colorado. We are recording the show on the California Zephyr somewhere near Ottumwa, Iowa. We are glad to have had the time away and we are also glad to be back with some illustrations and special effects for the Gospel passage for this week. Distance and a new perspective often allows us to see familiar things with fresh eyes. Hopefully, that will translate to the podcast!

This week’s text is:  

Mark 9:30-37 [01:59]

The passage begins with Jesus’ second passion prediction. As usual, the disciples in Mark are confused by Jesus’ instruction and are too frightened to ask him for clarification. I remember being too intimidated to ask questions in my sixth grade math class, so I don’t fault the disciples here at all. If you have a similar experience, this would make for an excellent SELF smart illustration!

We begin with EYE smart special effects regarding verses 34 and 36. For verse 34, find a picture of “The Greatest” aka Muhammad Ali. For verse 36, find some before and after family pictures memes where the same people come back decades later to retake a favorite picture, especially one where someone is holding someone else. Have some fun with this and then transition into a discussion about taking up the small and vulnerable in Jesus’ name. This includes some BODY and PEOPLE smart elements.

In MATH smart, break out the transitive property of equality! We think we may have used this before as an illustration, but since it works so very well here, we’re dusting it off again! For a special effect, get newsprint or a projector and demonstrate how the equation works. Be certain to show how this works with the welcome Jesus refers to in verse 37.

BODY smart can be illustrated with the logo for The United Way (or other organizations that use the encircled arms) showing “big” people caring tenderly for “little” people. We accidentally include a NATURE illustration using eggs, so be sure to listen for that! For a special effect, get a baseball bat to demonstrate how we sometimes decide who is “first”.

Write a poem for MUSIC smart including a repeating refrain about “the greatest”. If you have trouble with rhyming that word, try free verse! David is hoping to provide an example before we get to Chicago! You are highly encouraged to try it yourself and let us know what you do!

Finally, for PEOPLE smart, make a list of all the ways we determine how someone is the greatest. What categories do we use and what criteria in each category determine who is first among us? Take this list and use it as a springboard for discussion for a special effect. Take verse 37 and the transitive property from MATH smart and present a short skit showing how we welcome in Jesus’ name.


Image Credit : icetray. Used by permission.


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