Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
TITLE: A Bundle of Sticks
By CJ Raney
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“I can’t believe it. Lisa signed up for the Tiny Tot class. I always teach it. She is new to the church and has no experience. What was she thinking?”
Sarah threw her pen back in her purse and stormed into the sanctuary. In a huff, she sat down in the back pew by the stained glass window. Sarah could barely concentrate on the songs that were being sung, because she was still fuming about not being able to teach the class.
After the song service, the pastor stood up behind the podium and opened his Bible. He started to read the scripture for his message. In the middle of reading, he stopped and looked up. After a short pause, the pastor said, “I feel led to tell you an ancient folklore my grandfather shared with me…
“There was an old man who knew he was nearing the end of his life. He called his children to him and gave each of them a sturdy stick. ‘Break the stick,’ he instructed the children. They each snapped their stick in half.
“’This is what happens when you stand alone,’ he explained.
“Then, he gave each of them another stick and said, ‘This is how you should live. Put your sticks together in a bundle and try to break the bundle in half.’
“None of them could break the sticks when they were gathered together. ‘We are strong when we stand together,’ the old man told his children. ‘When we are with one another, we cannot be broken.’”
The pastor went on to compare the church to this family. He told them if they would support each other and stand together, the devil couldn’t interfere with God’s plans for the church.
As the pastor continued his message, Sarah sat with tears rolling down her cheeks. She couldn’t believe how selfish and bitter she had been. During the invitation, Sarah bowed her head and said, “Yes, Lord, I heard you loud and clear. I am so sorry.”
After church was over, Sarah went to Lisa’s pew, in the front of the church.
“I see you are going to teach the tiny tots for Vacation Bible School. I think that is great! If you need any help, just let me know.”
“Oh, thank you so much. I was so nervous about signing up. God just wouldn’t let me rest until I did. I appreciate your offer and would love to have you help me with the class. Maybe you could teach a couple of the nights.”
1 Corinthians 12:21-26
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