December 31 ~ The Good Samaritan

Winslow Homer
American 1836 – 1910
How Many Eggs
1873
Watercolour and gouache on pap

•The Good Samaritan•
Background @ Luke 10:25
One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question, “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
Story @ Luke 10:25-37

•Jesus Visits Martha & Mary•
Background @ Luke 10:38-39
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.
Story @ Luke 10:38-42

•Jesus Teaches About Prayer•
Background @ Luke 11:1
Once Jesus was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of his disciples came to him and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
Story @ Luke 11:1-13

•Someone Greater Than Solomon is Here•
Background @ Matthew 12:38-45 (the sign of Jonah)
@ Luke 11:29a
As the crowd pressed in on Jesus, he said, “This evil generation keeps asking me to show them a miraculous sign.”
Story @ Luke 11:29-32

Winslow Homer
American 1836 – 1910
An October Day
1889
Watercolor on paper
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute | Williamstown, United States

•Set My Lamp Aglow•
Background @ Luke 11:33a
As the crowd pressed in on Jesus, he said, “No one lights a lamp and then hides it.”
Story @ Luke 11:33-36

•God Made the Inside as Well as the Outside•
Background @ Luke 11:37
As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal, so he went in and took his place at the table.
Story @ Luke 11:37-54

•Hypocrisy•
Background @ Luke 12:1a
Meanwhile, the crowds grew until thousands were milling about and stepping on each other.
Story @ Luke 12:1-12

Winslow Homer
Charles Savage Homer
Watercolor

•Story of the Rich Fool•
MUSIC & HYMNS:
PSALMS RESPONSIVE READING @ Psalms 50:1-15 (NLT)
SCRIPTURE @ 1 John 3:16-17 (NLT)
NARRATE the BACKGROUND @ Luke 11:37-41; 12:13 (NLT)
Then someone yelled from the crowd, “Teacher, please tell my brother to divide our father’s estate with me.”
NARRATE the STORY @ Luke 12:13-21 (NLT)

•Seek the Kingdom of God Above All Else•
Background @ Luke 12:22
Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear.”
Story @ Luke 12:22-34

•Be Ready, He’s Nearer Than•
Background @ Luke 12:35-36
As the crowd pressed in on Jesus, he said, “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks.”
Story @ Luke 12:35-48

•A Peace Treaty of Repentance•
Background @ Luke 12:49
As the crowd pressed in on Jesus, he said, “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished”
Story @ Luke 12:49-59 and 13:1-5

•Illustration of the Barren Fig Tree•
Background @ Luke 13:6
Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden…”
Story @ Luke 13:6-9

•Jesus Heals on the Sabbath•
Background @ Luke 13:10-11a
One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in the synagogue, he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit.
Story @ Luke 13:10-17

•Illustrations of the Mustard Seed and Yeast•
Background @ Luke 13:18
Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it?”
Story @ Luke 13:18-21

•Physical and Spiritual Blindness•
Background @ John 9:1
As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth.
Story @ John 9:1-41

•The Good Shepherd and His Sheep•
Background @ John 10:1-3
“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber. But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
Story @ John 10:1-21

•Jesus Claims to be the Son of God•
Background @ John 10:22
It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication. He was in the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade. The people surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
Story @ John 10:22-42

•The Narrow Door•
Background @ Luke 13:22-23
Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”
Story @ Luke 13:22-30

•Blessings On the One Who Comes in the Name of the Lord•
Background @ Luke 13:31
At that same time Pharisees said to him, “Get away from here if you want to live! Herod Antipas wants to kill you!”
Story @ Luke 13:31-35

•Humility•
Background @ Luke 14:1,7
One Sabbath day Jesus went to eat dinner in the home of a leader of the Pharisees, and the people were watching him closely. When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave this advice:
Story @ Luke 14:1-14

•The Story of the Great Feast•
Background @ Luke 14:15
Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”
Story @ Luke 14:15-24

•The Cost of Being a Disciple•
Background @ Luke 9:57-62 || @ Matthew 8:18-22 (the cost of following Jesus)
@ Luke 14:25-26a
A large crowd was following Jesus. He turned around and said to them, “If you want to be my disciple…”
Story @ Luke 14:25-35

•The Stories of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, & the Lost Son•
Background @ Luke 15:1-3
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people – even eating with them! So Jesus told them these stories:
Story @ Luke 15:1-32

•The Story of the Shrewd Manager•
Background @ Luke 16:1
Jesus told this story to his disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer’s money.”
Story @ Luke 16:1-18

•The Rich Man and Lazarus•
Background @ Luke 16:19
Jesus said, “There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury. At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores.”
Story @ Luke 16:19-31

•Forgiveness & Faith•
Background @ Luke 17:1
One day Jesus said to his disciples, “There will always be temptations to sin, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting!
Story @ Luke 17:1-10
~ §tacy §weeney

December 30 ~ The Transfiguration

Winslow Homer
1836-1910
American Naturalist painter, illustrator, engraver and etcher
Artists Sketching in the White Mountains
1868
Oil on panel
Portland Museum of Art
Portland | United States

•The Transfiguration•
Background @ Matthew 17:1
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone and to pray.
Story @ Mark 9:2-13 || @ Matthew 17:1-13 || @ Luke 9:28-36

•Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Evil Spirit•
Background @ Mark 9:14
When they returned to the other disciples at the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them.
Story @ Mark 9:14-29 || @ Matthew 17:14-21 || @ Luke 9:37-43

•Jesus Again Predicts His Death•
Background @ Mark 8:31-9:1 || @ Matthew 16:21-28 || @ Luke 9:21-27 (Jesus predicts his death)
Leaving that region, they gathered again in Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there, for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them.
Story @ Mark 9:30-32 || @ Matthew 17:22-23 || @ Luke 9:43b-45

jumping trout

Winslow Homer 1836-1910 American Naturalist painter, illustrator, engraver and etcher Jumping Trout 1889 31.4 x 49.3 cms | 12 1/4 x 19 1/4 ins Watercolor The Brooklyn Museum | United States

•Payment of the Temple Tax•
Background @ Matthew 17:24
On their arrival in Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple tax came to Peter and asked him, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the Temple tax?
story @ Matthew 17:24-27

•The Greatest in the Kingdom•
Background @ Mark 9:33
After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?”
Story @ Mark 9:33-50 || @ Matthew 18:1-20 || @ Luke 9:46-50

•The Story of the Unforgiving Debtor•
Background @ Matthew 18:21
Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
Story @ Matthew 18:21-35

•Jesus Teaches Openly in the Temple•
Background @ John 7:1-9
After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He wanted to stay out of Judea, where the Jewish leaders were plotting to kill him.
Story @ John 7:1-53

•Opposition from the Samaritans•
Background @ John 4:1-45 (the story of the Samaritan woman) and @ Luke 9:51
As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.
Story @ Luke 9:51-56

•Count the Cost to Follow Jesus•
Background @ Luke 9:57
As Jesus and his disciples were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Story @ Matthew 8:18-22 || Luke 9:57-62

•A Woman Caught in Adultery•
Background @ John 8:1-2
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.
Story @ John 8:1-11

•Jesus, the Light of the World•
Background @ John 8:1-2
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.
Story @ John 8:12-20

•I AM He•
Background @ John 8:1-2
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.
Story @ John 8:21-30

•Jesus and Father Abraham•
Background @ John 8:1-2
Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.
Story @ John 8:31-59

•Jesus Sends Out His Disciples•
Background @ Luke 10:1
The Lord now chose 72 other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.
Story @ Luke 10:1-20

•Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving•
Background @ Luke 10:1,21a
The Lord now chose 72 other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
Prayer @ Luke 10:21-24
~ §tacy §weeney

December 29 ~ Bread of Life

•Jesus Calms the Storm•
Background @ Mark 4:35
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s sail across to the other side.”
Story @ Mark 4:35-41 || @ Matthew 8:23-27 || @ Luke 8:22-25

•The Story of £€GION•
MUSIC & HYMNS: “Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)”
PSALM RESPONSIVE READING @ Psalm 139:1-14 (NLT)
SCRIPTURE @ Revelation 2:17 (NLT)
NARRATE the BACKGROUND @ Mark 4:35-41 || @ Matthew 8:23-27 || @ Luke 8:22-25 (Jesus Calms the Storm)
@ Mark 4:35-41 (NLT)
As evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s sail across to the other side.” Soon a fierce storm came up on the Sea of Galilee. filling their ship with water, and they were in great danger. Jesus turned the tide of the storm, and there was a great calm. The terrified disciples finally reasoned in their minds, “even the winds and waves obey him!” They had before them hard evidence of Christ’s power. Now morning came as they hit shore in Gadara, where no one was safe to pass.
NARRATE the STORY @ Mark 5:1-20, and 7:31, and 8:1,9,10 || @ Matthew 8:28-34

John Singer Sargent
American 1856 – 1925
Frieze of the Prophets
Oil on canvas

•The Bleeding Woman•
Background @ Mark 5:21,25
Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.
Story @ Mark 5:21,25-34 || @ Matthew 9:20-22 || @ Luke 8:40,43-48

•Jarius•
Background @ Mark 5:21-22
Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore. Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jarius, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet.
Story @ Mark 5:21-24,35a-43 || @ Matthew 9:18-19,23-26 || @ Luke 8:40-42,49-56

•Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute•
Background @ Matthew 9:27
After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
Story @ Matthew 9:27-34

•Jesus Rejected at Nazareth, Amazed at Unbelief•
Background @ Luke 4:16-30 (1st rejection at Nazareth)
@ Mark 6:1
Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown.
Story @ Mark 6:1-6 || @ Matthew 13:53-58

•Jesus Sends Out the 12 Apostles•
Background @ John 1:35-51 (the first disciples)
@ Mark 1:16-20 || @ Matthew 4:18-22 (the disciples follow Jesus)
@ Mark 2:13-17 || @ Matthew 9:9-13 || @ Luke 5:27-32 (Jesus calls Levi Matthew)
@ Mark 3:7-19 || @ Luke 6:12-16 (Jesus chooses the 12 apostles)
@ Mark 6:7
And he called his 12 disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits.
Story @ Mark 6:7-13 || @ Matthew 10:1-42 || Luke 9:1-6

•The Death of John the Baptist•
Background @ John 1:6-9, 15 (prologue)
@ John 3:23-36, and 5:31-47 (John exalts Jesus, witnesses to Jesus)
@ Luke 3:19-20 (John imprisoned)
@ Matthew 11:1-19 || @ Luke 7:18-35 (Jesus and John the Baptist)
@ Luke 9:7-8
When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything Jesus was doing, he was puzzled. Some were saying that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead. Others thought Jesus was Elijah or one of the other prophets risen from the dead.
Story @ Luke 9:7-9 || Mark 6:14-29 || @ Matthew 14:1-12

•Jesus Feeds 5,000•
Background @ Matthew 14:13
As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns.
Story @ Matthew 14:13-21 || @ Mark 6:30-44 || @ Luke 9:10-17 || @ John 6:1-15

Rembrandt
c.1606-c.1669
Dutch painter, teacher, draftsman, printmaker and etcher
Christ In The Storm On The Sea Of Galilee
1633
160 x 127 cms | 62 3/4 x 50 ins
Oil on canvas

•The Story of Jesus Walks on Water•
MUSIC & HYMNS: “Like an Avalanche”
PSALMS responsive reading @ Psalm 107:23-32 (NLT)
SCRIPTURE @ Isaiah 43:1-4 (NLT)
NARRATE the BACKGROUND @ Matthew 8:23-27, and 14:13-21 (NLT)
Mark 4:35-41
Jesus got into the boat and started across the Sea of Galilee with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck, with waves breaking into the boat, but Jesus was sleeping! The disciples went and woke him, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him.”
NARRATE the STORY  @ Matthew 14:22-36 (NLT) || @ Mark 6:45-56 || and @ John 6:16-21

•Jesus, The Bread of Life•
Background @ John 6:22-25
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Story @ John 6:22-59


Winslow Homer (1836-1910)
A Voice from the Cliffs
Watercolor on paper
1883
Private collection

•Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity•
Background @ Matthew 15:1-2
Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old traditions? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”
Story @ Mark 7:1-23 || @ Matthew 15:1-20

•Faith of  the Gentile Woman•
Background @ Mark 7:24
Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre.
Story @ Mark 7:24-30 || @ Matthew 15:21-28

•Jesus Heals a Deaf and Mute Man•
Background @ Mark 7:31
Jesus left Tyre and went up to Sidon before going back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns.
Story @ Mark 7:31-37

•Jesus Heals Many People•
Background @ Matthew 15:29
Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down.
Story @ Matthew 15:29-31

•Jesus Feeds 4,000•
Background @ Mark 8:1a
About that time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again.
Story @ Mark 8:1-9 || Matthew 15:32-39

•Yeast of the Leaders•
Background @ Mark 8:1-9 || @ Matthew 15:32-39 (Jesus Feeds 4,000)
@ Matthew 16:1a
One day the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test Jesus.
Story @ Matthew 16:1-12 || @ Mark 8:11-21

•Jesus Heals a Blind Man•
Background @ Mark 8:22
When they arrived in Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him.
Story @ Mark 8:22-26

•Peter’s Declaration about Jesus•
Background @ Matthew 16:13
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Phillippi, he left the crowds to pray alone. Only his disciples were with him, and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
Story @ Mark 8:27-30 || @ Matthew 16:13-20 || @ Luke 9:18-20

•Jesus Predicts His Death•
Background @ Mark 8:31
Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead.
Story @ Mark 8:31-9:1 || @ Matthew 16:21-28 || @ Luke 9:21-27
~ §tacy §weeney

December 28 ~ On the Mountainside

Winslow Homer 1836-1910 American Naturalist painter, illustrator, engraver and etcher The Woodcutter 1891 Watercolor on paper

•Sermon on the Mount•
Background @ Mark 3:7-19 || @ Luke 6:12-20a (Jesus chooses 12 apostles, and the crowds follow Jesus)
@ Matthew 5:1-2
It seems that Jesus was always on the mountainside praying to God all night. I wonder what they talked about. At daybreak he called together all his disciples and chose the ones he wanted to go with him. He appointed 12 of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach, giving them authority to cast out demons. Here are their names: Simon (whom Jesus named Peter), James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them “Sons of Thunder”), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the zealot), and Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed Jesus).
When they came down from the mountain, the disciples stood with Jesus on a large, level area, surrounded by many of his followers and by the crowds. There were people from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from as far north as the seacoasts of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those troubled by evil spirits were healed. Everyone tried to touch him, because healing power went out from him, and he healed everyone.
As he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.
Story @ Matthew chapters 5 through 7  ||  @ Luke 6:20b-49


•Faith of the Roman Officer •
Background @ Luke 7:1-2
When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people, he returned to Capernaum. At that time the highly valued slave of a Roman officer was sick and near death.
Story @ Matthew 8:5-13 || @ Luke 7:1-10

•Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son•
Background @ Luke 7:11
Afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him.
Story @ Luke 7:11-17

•Jesus and John the Baptist•
Background @ John 1:6-9, 15 (prologue)
@ John 3:23-36 5:31-47 (John exalts Jesus)
@ Luke 3:19-20 (John imprisoned)
@ John 5:31-47 (witness to Jesus)
John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
Story @ Matthew 11:1-19 || @ Luke 7:18-35

John Singer Sargent
American 1856 – 1925
The Breakfast Table
1884
Oil on canvas
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University | Cambridge, United States

•Mary Magdalene•
Background @ Luke 7:36-37
Simon, one of the Pharisees, asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume.
Story @ Luke 7:36-50 through 8:1-3

•The Sign of Jonah•
Background @ Mark 3:20-30 || @ Matthew 12:22-37 || @ Luke 11:14-28 (Jesus and the prince of demons)
@ Matthew 12:38
One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”
Story @ Matthew 12:38-45

•The True Family of Jesus•
Background @ Matthew 12:46
As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.
Story @ Mark 3:31-35 || Matthew 12:46-50 || Luke 8:19-21

•Jesus and the Prince of Demons•
Background @ Mark 3:20-21
One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said.
Story @ Mark 3:20-30 || @ Matthew 12:22-37 || @ Luke 11:14-28


•The Story of the Farmer Scattering Seed•
Background @ Mark 4:1-2,33-34 @ Matthew 13:34-35 (many stories in the form of parables)
@ Mark 4:1-3
Once again Jesus began teaching by the lake shore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables. Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables. This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: “I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.”
“Listen!” A farmer went out to scatter some seed.”
Story @ Mark 4:1-20,26-29 || @ Matthew 13:1-23, and 9:35-38 || Luke 8:4-15

Winslow Homer
1836-1910
American Naturalist painter, illustrator, engraver and etcher
Harrowing
1879
Watercolor on paper

•Illustration of the Lamp•
Background @ Mark 4:1-2,33-34 @ Matthew 13:34-35 (many stories in the form of parables)
@ Mark 4:21a
Then Jesus asked, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed?”
Story @ Luke 8:16-18 || @ Mark 4:21-25

•Story of the Wheat and Weeds•
Background @ Mark 4:1-2,33-34 @ Matthew 13:34-35 (many stories in the form of parables)
@ Matthew 13:24
Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.”
Story @ Matthew 13:24-30,36-43

•Illustration of the Mustard Seed•
Background @ Mark 4:1-2,33-34 @ Matthew 13:34-35 (many stories in the form of parables)
@ Mark 4:30
Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?”
Story @ Mark 4:30-34 || @ Matthew 13:31-32

•Illustration of the Yeast•
Background @ Mark 4:1-2,33-34 @ Matthew 13:34-35 (many stories in the form of parables)
@ Matthew 13:33
Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread.”
Story @ Matthew 13:33-35

•Illustration of the Hidden Treasure•
Background @ Mark 4:1-2,33-34 @ Matthew 13:34-35 (many stories in the form of parables)
@ Matthew 13:44
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field.”
Story @ Matthew 13:44

•Illustration of the Pearl Merchant•
Background @ Mark 4:1-2,33-34 @ Matthew 13:34-35 (many stories in the form of parables)
@ Matthew 13:45
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls.”
Story @ Matthew 13:45-46

•Illustration of the Fishing Net•
Background @ Mark 4:1-2,33-34 @ Matthew 13:34-35 (many stories in the form of parables)
@ Luke 5:1-11 (Jesus teaches by the sea to fish for men)
@ Matthew 13:47
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a fishing net that was thrown into the water and caught fish of every kind.”
Story @ Matthew 13:47-52
~ §tacy §weeney

 

 

December 27 ~ By the Narrow Beach


• The Ministry of Jesus Begins •
Background @ Luke 3:19,20 (John imprisoned)
@ Matthew 4:12-13, and @ Mark 1:14-15
When Jesus heard that John was arrested, he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulum and Naphtali. From then on Jesus began to preach.
Story @ Mark 1:14-15 || @ Matthew 4:12-17 || @ Luke 3:23a


• Jesus Heals an Official’s Son •
Background @ John 4:46
As Jesus traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick.
Story @ John 4:46-54

• Jesus Rejected at Nazareth •
Background @ Luke 4:16
When Jesus came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures.
Story @ Luke 4:16-30

• The Disciples Follow Jesus •
Background @ John 1:35-51 (the first disciples)
@ Mark 1:16
One day Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Story @ Matthew 4:18-22 || @ Mark 1:16-20

• Jesus Casts Out an Evil Spirit •
Background @ Luke 4:31
Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day. There too, the people were amazed at his teaching, for he spoke with authority.
Story @ Mark 1:21-28 || @ Luke 4:31-37

• Jesus Heals Many People •
Background @ Mark 1:29
After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon Peter and Andrew’s home.
Story @ Mark 1:29-34 || @ Matthew 8:14-17 || @ Luke 4:38-41


•Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee •
Background @ Matthew 4:23-25
Jesus traveled throughout the region of Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. He healed every kind of disease and illness. News about him spread as far as Syria, and people soon began bringing to him all who were sick. And whatever their sickness or disease, or if they were demon possessed or epileptic or paralyzed – he healed them all. Large crowds followed him wherever he went – people from Galilee, the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, from all over Judea, and from east of the Jordan River.
Story @ Mark 1:35-39 || Luke 4:42-44 || @ Matthew 4:23-25


Winslow Homer 1836-1910 American Naturalist painter, illustrator, engraver and etcher Children on the Beach 1881 Watercolor on paper

•Jesus Teaches by the Narrow Beach•
Background @ Luke 5:1
One day as Jesus was preaching on the narrow beach, great crowds pressed in on him to hear the Word of God.
Story @ Luke 5:1-11

• Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy •
Background @ Leviticus 14:1-32 (cleansing from skin disease)
@ Luke 5:12
In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy.
Story @ Mark 1:40-45 || @ Matthew 8:1-4 || @ Luke 5:12-16

Peter Paul Rubens
1577-1640
painter and diplomat
Entombment
circa 1615
22.2 x 15.3 cms | 8 1/2 x 6 ins
Ink on paper/brown ink and bro
Rijksmuseum
Amsterdam | Netherlands

•The Story of the Paralytic•
MUSIC & HYMNS: “Beautiful One”, “Oh How He Loves Us”, and from the hymn book “Do Not Pass Me By”
PSALM RESPONSIVE READING @ Psalm 103:1-14 (NLT)
SCRIPTURE @ John 10:17-18 (NLT)
NARRATE the BACKGROUND @ Mark 2:1, and @ Luke 5:17 (NLT)
When Jesus returned to Capernaum several days later, the news spread quickly that he was back home. While Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby.
NARRATE the STORY @ Mark 2:1-12 (NLT) || @ Matthew 9:1-8 || @ Luke 5:17-26

• Jesus Calls Levi Matthew •
Background @ Mark 2:13-14a
Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that were coming to him. As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax collector’s booth.
Story @ Mark 2:13-17 || @ Matthew 9:9-13 || @ Luke 5:27-32

• New Garment, New Wine •
Background @ Matthew 9:14
One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees do?”
Story @ Mark 2:18-22 || @ Matthew 9:14-17 || @ Luke 5:33-39

• Healing at the Pool •
Background @ John 5:1
Afterward, Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days.
Story @ John 5:1-15

• Jesus Claims to be the Son of God •
Background @ John 5:1
Afterward, Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days.
Story @ John 5:16-47

• The Sabbath Day •
Background @ Matthew 12:1
At about that time Jesus was walking through some grain fields on the Sabbath.
Story @ Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-6 || @ Matthew 12:1-21 || @ Luke 6:1-11

• Jesus Chooses the 12 Apostles •
Background @ John 1:35-51 (the first disciples)
@ Mark 1:16-20 || @ Matthew 4:18-22 (the disciples follow Jesus)
@ Mark 2:13-17 || @ Matthew 9:9-13 || @ Luke 5:27-32 (Jesus calls Levi Matthew)
@ Mark 3:7-12
Jesus went out to the lake with his disciples, and a large crowd followed him. They came from all over Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far north as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him.
Story @ Mark 3:7-19 || @ Luke 6:12-16

• Many Disciples Desert Jesus •
Background @ John 6:22-59 (Jesus, the Bread of Life)
@ John 6:60
Many of Jesus’ disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”
Story @ John 6:60-71
~ §tacy §weeney

December 26 ~ John Prepares the Way


the_two_guides-large

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) The Two Guides Oil on canvas Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States)

•John the Baptist Prepares the Way•
Background @ Luke 1:5-25, 57-80 (John’s birth foretold, John’s birth, and Zechariah’s prophecy)
@ John 1:6-9, 15-18 (prologue)
@ Matthew 3:1
God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean Wilderness and began preaching.
Story @ Mark 1:1-8 || @ Matthew 3:1-12 || @ Luke 3:1-18


•The Baptism of Jesus•
Background @ Mark 1-8 || @ Matthew 3:1-12 || @ Luke 3:1-18 (John the Baptist prepares the Way)
@ Matthew 3:13
One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee to the Jordan River.
Note: baptism definition @ Mark 1:4, and @ Matthew 3:15
Story @ Mark 1:9-11 || @ Matthew 3:13-17 || and @ Luke 3:21-22

•Jesus Tested in the Wilderness•
Background @ Mark 1:9-11 || @ Matthew 3:13-17 || @ Luke 3:21-22 (the baptism of Jesus)
@ Mark 1:12-13
Then Jesus, being baptized and full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness.
Story @ Matthew 4:1-11 || @ Luke 4:1-15

•The Testimony of John the Baptist•
Background @ Mark 1:1-8 || @ Matthew 3:1-12 || @ Luke 3:1-18 (John prepares the way)
@ John 1:19,28
This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” This encounter took place in Bethany, an area east of the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
Story @ John 1:19-34 and 3:23-36

•The First Disciples (Andrew, Simon Peter, Phillip, Nathanael)•
Background @ John 1:19-34 and 3:23-36 (John’s testimony)
@ John 1:35-36
The following day, John was again standing with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!”
Story @ John 1:35-51

•The Wedding at Cana•
Background @ John 1:35-51 (the first disciples)
@ John 2:1-2
The next day, there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee, where Jesus revealed his glory. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration.
Note: oriental customs of love expressed in tone, look, and manners
Story @ John 2:1-12

•Jesus Clears the Temple•
Background @ John 2:1-12 (the wedding at Cana)
@ John 2:11-13
There was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. This miraculous sign, turning the water into wine, was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And his disciples believed in him. After the wedding, Jesus went to Capernaum for a few days with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples. It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem.
Story @ John 2:13-25

•Jesus and Nicodemus•
Background @ John 2:13-25 (Jesus clears the Temple)
@ John 2:23, and 3:1-2a
Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus.
Story @ John 3:1-22

•John the Baptist Exalts Jesus, Criticizes Herod Antipas•
Background @ John 1:19-51 (the testimony of John, the first disciples)
@ John 3:23
At this time, John was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism (this was before John was thrown into prison.)
Story @ John 3:23-36, and @ Luke 3:19-20

Winslow Homer
1836-1910
American Naturalist painter, illustrator, engraver and etcher
Autumn
1877
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Art
Washington | United States

•The Story of the Samaritan Woman•
Background @ John 4:1-5
Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them – his disciples did.) So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired from the long walk (100mi?) sat wearily beside the well about noontime.
Note: historical background of siege of Samaria (2Kings 6:24-7:20) & parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)
Story @ John 4:1-45 (memorize for storytelling verses 4-19,25-29,40-42)

•Jesus and John the Baptist•
Background @ John 1:6-9,15 (prologue)
@ John 3:23-36, and 5:31-47 (John exalts Jesus, witnesses to Jesus)
@ Luke 3:19-20 (John imprisoned)
@ Matthew 11:2-3
John the Baptist, who was in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?”
Story @ Matthew 11:1-19 || @ Luke 7:18-35

•The Death of John the Baptist•
Background @ John 1:6-9, 15 (prologue)
@ John 3:23-36, and 5:31-47 (John exalts Jesus, witnesses to Jesus)
@ Luke 3:19-20 (John imprisoned)
@ Matthew 11:1-19 || @ Luke 7:18-35 (Jesus and John the Baptist)
@ Matthew 14:1-2
When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything Jesus was doing, he was puzzled. Some were saying that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead. Others thought Jesus was Elijah or one of the other prophets risen from the dead.
Story @ Luke 9:7-9 || Mark 6:14-29 || @ Matthew 14:1-12
~ §tacy §weeney

December 25 ~ Blessings From Bethlehem

• A Christmas Letter From Luke •
Background @ Luke 1:1-4 (dedication)
@ Mark 1:1a (the beginning of the Good News)
“Four hundred years after the last Old Testament book was written, the story of the New Testament begins to unfold, around 6 B.C.  The beginning of the Good News is about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.” ~ Luke
Story @ John 1:1-18

Winslow Homer
1836-1910
American Naturalist painter, illustrator, engraver and etcher
The Angler
1874
59.7 x 96.9 cms | 23 1/2 x 38 ins
Oil on canvas

•The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold•
Background @ Luke 1:5-7
When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old.
Story @ Luke 1:5-25

•The Birth of Jesus Foretold•
Background @ Luke 1:26-29
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.
Story @ Luke 1:26-45
Prayer by Mary of Nazareth @  Luke 1:42-56

•The Birth of John the Baptist•
Background @ Luke 1:5-25 (the birth of John the Baptist foretold)
@ Luke 1:57
When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to a son.
Story @ Luke 1:57-66,80

•Zechariah’s Prophecy•
Background @ Luke 1:5-25,57-66,80  (the birth of John the Baptist)
@ Luke 1:67
There was an old Jewish priest who was righteous in God’s eyes named Zechariah.  While Zechariah was in the sanctuary serving the Lord, the angel Gabriel appeared to him to foretell the birth of his son. But since Zechariah did not believe what Gabriel said, Zechariah went silent, unable to speak until the child was born. When the baby was 8 days old, Zechariah wrote on a tablet, “His name is John.”  Instantly, Zechariah could speak again, and he began praising God. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy.
Story @ Luke 1:67-80

•The Birth of Jesus the Messiah•
Background @ John 1:1-18 (prologue)
@ Matthew 1:1-17 (the record of Jesus’ ancestors)
@ Luke 1:26-45 (the birth of Jesus foretold)
@ Luke 2:1-4
Jesus was born approximately six months after John, his relative. The ancestors of Jesus include:
14 generations from Abraham to David
14 generations from David to Babylonian exile and
14 generations from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah
There had gone out a decree from the Roman Emperor Augustus that all the world should be taxed. All went to be taxed, every one to his own city. Because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
Story @ Matthew 1:18-25 || @ Luke 2:1-7
Prayer by Mary of Nazareth @ Luke 1:42-56

•The Shepherds and The Angels•
Background @ Matthew 1:18-25 (Mary and Joseph) || @ Luke 2:1-7 (the birth of Jesus the Messiah)
@ Luke 2:8
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus.” Because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he traveled to Bethlehem from the village of Nazareth in Galilee to register for the Roman Empire census, decreed by the Emperor Augustus. Joseph took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was now obviously pregnant. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby guarding their flock of sheep. This is where our story starts.
Story @ Luke 2:8-20

•The Story of the Wise Men•
MUSIC & HYMNS: Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Magnificat”, Salt of the Sound’s “Star of Wonder and Noel”, and from the hymn book, “We Three Kings”
SPECIAL MUSIC, Song of Praise by Mary of Nazareth @ Luke 1:45-56 (NLT)
PSALM RESPONSIVE READING @ Psalm 19:1-4 (NLT)
SCRIPTURE @ Matthew 25:34-40, New Living Translation (NLT)
NARRATE the BACKGROUND @ John 1:1-5,10-12,14a (prologue)
@ Matthew 1:18-25 (Mary and Joseph) || @ Luke 2:1-7 (the birth of Jesus the Messiah)
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him,and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. So the Word became human and made his home among us.”
How can this be? No recognition! Even so, God interrupts righteous lives to bring us the condescension of the humble, tiny babe Jesus through peasant parents on this wise, which was spoken of the Lord by his prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name €mmanuel, which being interpreted as, ‘God with us.’” Christ is about to visit our world differently, that we might behold him and not be destroyed!
Far to the east, a group of wise men gathered to study the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures. They were called Magi, learned men such as philosophers and astronomers. This is where our story begins.
NARRATE the STORY @ Matthew 2:1-12 (NLT)
CLOSING PRAYER by Jesus of Nazareth @ John 17:23 (NLT)

The Starry Night
Vicent van Gogh
1889
Oil on canvas
73.7 x 92.1 cm
(29.02″ x 36.26″)
Museum of Modern Art (New York, New York, United States)

•The Escape to Egypt and the Return to Nazareth•
Background @ Matthew 1:18-25 (Mary and Joseph) || @ Luke 2:1-7 (the birth of Jesus the Messiah)
@ Matthew 2:1-12 (the wise men)
@ Matthew 2:13
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. The visit of the wise men probably took place around two years after Jesus was born. After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said, “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
Story @ Matthew 2:13-23

•Jesus Speaks with the Teachers•
Background @ Luke 2:21-40 (Jesus presented in the Temple, the prophecies of Simeon and Anna)
@ Matthew 2:19-23 (the return to Nazareth)
@ Luke 2:41-42
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon Simeon and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to Jerusalem to present and dedicate the baby to the Lord as the law required, Simeon was there. He took the baby in his arms and praised God saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. The child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him. When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said, “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.” Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. This is where our story begins.
Story @ Luke 2:41-52


John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
Oil on canvas
1885-1886
173.99 x 153.67 cm
(68½” x 60½”)

•Jesus Blesses the Children•
HYMNS & WORSHIP from the hymn book: “Come Thou Fount”, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus”, “How Great thou Art”
PSALMS RESPONSIVE READING @ Psalm 100 (NLT)
NARRATE the BACKGROUND @ Luke 2:21-52 (Jesus presented in the Temple, the prophecies, Jesus speaks with the teachers)
@ Mark 9:30-32 (NLT)
Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. And it came to pass, that after three days they found Jesus in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, his parents were amazed: and his mother said unto him, “Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.” And he said unto them, “How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Years later, Jesus was teaching the disciples about his death, and how he would be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. The disciples were filled with grief. Then they left Galilee to the region of Judea east of the Jordan. This is where our young children’s story begins.
NARRATE the STORY @ Mark 9:33-37, and chapter 10:13-16 (NLT)
PRAYER by Jesus @ Matthew 11:25-30 (NLT)

~ §tacy §weeney

Treasure Hunt

There are 33 items hidden in unlikely windows for the Chattanooga North Shore Holiday Treasure Hunt now through January 2nd. We found all 33 items today! My favorite winter window is Blue Skies creative Walnut Street Bridge, Chattanooga. This stuffed animal is holding his treasure, a watercolor brush in the Tennessee River. He’s the only animal with arms long enough to reach.
~ Stacy Sweeney
IMG_20171222_122600553~2IMG_20171222_123017727~2

Holidays & Schooldays

Holidays and schooldays always held me over. It was the arrival of Christmas and weekdays that I looked forward to. I hardly knew how to wait for it. Every hint or suggestion about it was significant.

Winslow Homer
Beach Scene

And so it was that I started reading at Wayside Elementary School in North Carolina. Mrs. Yates, my neighbor and kindergarten teacher, gifted me each morning with a pencil to draw stick figures with other coping kids. In the afternoons, she would send me across the hall to the 3rd grade class for reading and writing. I did not like it. There in the reading room I was catching up to speed in my phonics workbook, when I poked that pencil in orbit of my eye, leaving behind a permanent piece of graphite in my right cheek.

My reasoning of concern is that I’m not fond of reading, nor do I read well. I can read the words, but somehow they whiz by me and seldom even land. It is art that impresses my mind. The passionate painter, Winslow Homer, left behind such a long paper trail that anyone should be ashamed if his name draws a blank.

This season I will post a handful of his unvarnished watercolors and oil paintings for fun. Reading into his paintings is illuminating as the unknown God is known to me. The scope of his discernment was on the particular, the individual. The range of his enthusiasms were wide and familiar landscapes. Most important of all, he favored expressive contrast and showcased complimentary colors.

Winslow Homer
House Santiago Cuba

If painting can be done as instructively and artfully as it is here, I don’t see why the program shouldn’t be repeated in any schoolhouse or museum.
~ §tacy §weeney