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On our trip to New York City in July 2019, our project was to lead Vacation Bible School at two churches in New York City. I was working with the youth on the story team and the first day’s story was the Good Samaritan. We gathered together the night before to brainstorm how to tell the story to the younger kids. I suggested a puppet show. The teenagers looked at one another as if to say, “you want us to play with puppets?” “Isn’t that kid stuff?” “I didn’t come on this trip to do that!”
But one of them broke the silence and spoke up saying “Okay, let’s try it.” We got out the script and the puppets and planned our puppet show. They were starting to have fun with it. And after we’d done puppet shows for four groups of kids, they were really into it. Suddenly this wasn’t just a story in the bible, words printed on a page. It was our story. They wondered about how each character would act and dramatically portrayed that. When we asked questions of the kids after the puppet show, the older kids started to bond with the younger ones, helping them to answer the questions and see how the story applies in our lives.
That is the beauty of scripture. These aren’t just ancient stories. Jesus wasn’t just teaching people 2000 years ago. Scripture has a way of speaking to us now, in this time and place. I encourage you to read the Good Samaritan Story in Luke 10:25-37. What do you notice that you haven’t noticed before? Which character do you identify with? How do you hear the story apply in your life today? In our collective lives together?
Grace and peace,
Photo by Neal E. Johnson on Unsplash Yesterday I invited you to read Luke 6:17-49. Please read it again for today. This section is one of Jesus’ longest teaching sessions in the Gospel of Luke. Imagine you are part of the great multitude of people from all over who...
As we continue our journey reading the stories of Jesus’ early ministry in the Gospel of Luke, we now come to the “sermon on the level plain” (Luke 6:17-49). I invite you to read this section of Luke for today and tomorrow, but for today’s devotion, we will focus on...
We sort of glossed over it yesterday but then maybe you noticed. Our reading from Luke 6 included two back-to-back stories of Jesus being challenged by the Pharisees on his practice of observing the Sabbath. That’s the part I preached about. But that was just the first 11 verses of the reading. We also read verses 12-16, which describe the full roster of Jesus’ closest companions.
In the reading for this coming Sunday, the Pharisees challenge Jesus on what is proper on the Sabbath. To gain a deeper understanding of how celebrating a sabbath relates the life of faith, I would encourage you to watch this brief video from the Bible Project. It’s only about five minutes long but introduces a really important scriptural theme and it’s central to the claims our gospel writer Luke makes about Jesus. In the video, you learn of the numerical importance of sevens for God’s people as they practiced their faith. The rhythms created through all these sevens gave a particular cadence to life, one that was always tuned to God’s vision for the world. As we move forward into this weekend, let’s take some time to consider our own practice of Sabbath.