Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)
TITLE: Family Devotions
By Misti Chancellor
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“What’s the story about tonight, Mama?” Rosalie asked, playing with a strand of her long auburn hair.
“Tonight's story is called, ‘Jesus speaks at Nazareth’”
Brent scooted over to recliner, “Does it have pictures?”
Mom turned the page, “Yes, just one. I’ll let you see it when in a minute. Let’s get started. In this story, Jesus had been away teaching people, and he came back home to Nazareth.”
Little people moved about restlessly as Mom began reading the story about what happened when Jesus came back to Nazareth, the place where he had grown up, and read from Isaiah to the people in the synagogue.
“Can I see the picture now, Mama?” Brent leaned across Linnie’s lap trying to see.
“Move, B’ent” Linnie protested, “You on me.”
“Behave, you two,” Mom chided as she turned the book so Brent could see the picture.
Linnie reached out and tugged on Brent’s dirty-dishwater blonde hair. “Ow… Linnie, stop!” Brent pulled away, and scooted over to lean against the piano out of arm’s reach.
“Shh… let’s continue, where were we? Oh yes, he had just finished reading and the people got angry.”
Linnie pulled an ornery grin and the older kids snickered behind their hands as Mom cleared her throat, gave them the “look” and began to read again.
“Mother,” Melody piped up as Mom shut the storybook, “Why did the people in Nazareth get angry when Jesus read that to them? That was mean of them to want to throw him off a cliff. I’m glad he got away.”
“Well,” Mom lifted Linnie down from the armrest, “back in those days people were looking for a Messiah to come and had certain ideas about who that Messiah would be. These people had seen Jesus as he was growing up, and to them, he was just Joseph and Mary’s son. He didn’t fit their idea of who they thought the Messiah would be. They were angry with him because they thought he was being disrespectful to God, and it was very bad to be disrespectful to God. They didn’t believe that he was the Messiah.”
“But why didn’t they believe him?” Joey tilted his head as he looked up at Mom from the floor where he was sprawled out, “Hadn’t they seen and heard about all the things he’d done? All the miracles?”
“They remembered that he had grown up there. They’d seen him as a little boy. They’d known what school he went to, and that he had played among the children there in the town. They knew his parents, and they didn’t understand why he was different from their own children. They didn’t understand how he knew so many things and maybe they thought people were just making up stories about him doing miracles. We don’t know for sure.”
Focus shifted as the children accepted the answer and started getting restless. Brent poked at Linnie with his toes.
“Ok, kids, we need to pray and then you all need to brush your teeth and go to bed. Kneel down and be reverent.” Mom knelt beside the recliner as the sounds of nine little bodies kneeling down beside couches and chairs filled the room.
Mom shushed the chatter, “We’ll start with the oldest. Go ahead, Paul…”
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