Sunday, September 13, 2009

[Themes and] Variations

That's what I thought of when someone googled Jesus healing the soldier's servant (not the servant's soldier) and Peter (not Jesus) walking on the water.

You know all those early education exercises: Which two pictures or letters or numbers are the same? Which one is different?

For you as a grown-up or maybe even with older kids...take two similar stories from scripture and look at them from a different angle. What's the same? What's different?

Just a simple change of position, a shift in where you're standing, may help you see things you haven't seen before.

A non-story example: If you take a camera about a tree. Any tree. Take photos from different angles, different positions. You may not be able to take it from overhead unless you climb a taller tree or photograph a small tree from an upstairs window. Lay on the ground and take a picture looking up. Take it from 4 different positions. Take 4 sides standing up. Take a far away and and up close. Take the whole tree and parts of the tree. Take the bark, a leaf, a pine cone. Take bark, leaf and pine cone in the same picture. It's all the same tree. God made that tree. But there's so much to see (and smell and touch and hear...!) Choose two trees. Using the exact same picture of 2 different trees may be a better analogy.

Anyway if you do that with stories from scripture - without adding, taking away or speculating- I'm guessing you will see things you haven't seen before.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Somebody asked "What did Jesus do with the leftovers?"

It doesn't say.

Does that mean it's not important? Good possibility! Or at least it doesn't matter in this story. Is there a story where using what you have or not wasting, or not throwing away or...pick a word or there a story in scripture about that? Remember the story of the manna and the people were only supposed to take what they would use and the rest rotted? Not exactly the same but similar.

What could he have done with the leftovers?

Another thing to do (unless you're using the method that just looks at the text and doesn't look elsewhere - forgot what it's called) is take a word like "waste" or "left" or "left over," do a word study and see where it takes you.