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A Sincere Prayer

Prayer Sincerity Jewish Stories/Humor

Source: The Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten, Page 98

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2018-09-15

Scripture: Romans 8:26 ; Matthew 6:9

Author: Charles Krieg
6

ILLUSTRATION

A Chasidic story:

"A poor man, lost in the woods, found himself at nightfall without his prayer book, so he addressed this petition to the Almighty:  “Dear God I have done a stupid thing: I do not have my prayer book. And I have such a poor memory that I cannot recite the prayers by heart. But you know all the prayers, Lord,  so I'll just recite the letters of the alphabet, and You put them together in the right way.”

And the Almighty regarded that prayer, because of its sincerity, more worthy than any of the others He heard that day."

 

APPLICATION

I like that story!  It reminds us that when we pray we can say anything. It doesn't even have to make sense. The Lord will put our words together. All we have to do is to pray "from the heart."  The Lord will know that we love him simply because we are spending time with him.

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans" (Romans 8:26). 

Stones of Remembrance

Good Friday Funeral Services Jewish Stories/Humor

Source: N/A

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-04-04

Scripture: Romans 5:6

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

The following illustration can be used as a great object lesson/participative exercise for Good Friday, Communion, or Easter, or can be adapted for a meaningful added element to a funeral service:

Placing a stone of remembrance at the grave of a deceased loved one is a Jewish tradition handed down from antiquity.

There are many different reasons for placing the stones which have all converged into the modern tradition: Before the time of headstones, stones were mounded on top of the grave to secure the grave, and to mark the site so it could be easily located in the future. The entire community mourning the deceased would help in the process of laying the stones. As people would later visit the grave, they would leave another stone to show that they had been there (the more stones, the more honor, because it showed that many people had been there to memorialize the deceased). The stones were also symbolic of an altar (a place that was sanctified and holy). Later in history, as headstones began to replace the mounds of stones, the tradition continued because the stones were seen as a "lasting" remembrance; a way to bring honor to the deceased (after all, flowers fade and die, but the stones will not!).

APPLICATION

The imagery is beautifully displayed in the tomb of Jesus. Therein was laid the body of a Jewish rabbi sealed in his tomb by a giant stone. But there was no honor, no memorial. Just a disgraced, betrayed and brutalized Jewish teacher--tortured and crucified for no fault of his own. It was OUR sin that lashed his skin, OUR sin which pressed the thorns into his brow, OUR sin which nailed him to the cross, and OUR sin which rolled the stone that sealed him in that cold, dark tomb. And with all that, his stone tomb becomes a picture of the altar upon which he sacrificed his life for the sins of the world. And now, we have the opportunity to contemplate the role each one of us played in the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf--to really own it--to thank him for his sacrifice--and to bring him the honor due his name. As we approach the tomb, let each one of us bring a stone of remembrance and place it there--along with our own sin--leaving it on the altar of his sacrifice.

*At this point you can invite the congregation forward, single file, to take a stone, write their name on it, and lay it at the foot of the cross or at the base of your Good Friday stage display (we created a garden tomb seen with stone rolled in front of the grave, and laid our stones in front of it). When adapting for a funeral service, you can place the rocks on or beside the casket, either at the church or at graveside. You can also reserve the observance if you later do a headstone committal ceremony.

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8).

God's Vote Is Always The Majority

Contentiousness God's Judgment Jewish Stories/Humor

Source: ASIMOV LAUGHS AGAIN by Isaac Asimov, pp. 31-32

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-02-17

Scripture: Romans 3:4

Author: Isaac Asimov
3

ILLUSTRATION

Isaac Asimov shares the following story about dissension and majority rule:

Rabbi Feldman had been having trouble with his congregation. It seemed they could agree upon nothing, and controversy filled the air ...

The president of the congregation said, "Rabbi, this cannot be allowed to continue. Come, there must be a conference, and we must settle all areas of dispute once and for all."

"Agreed," said the rabbi.

At the appointed time, therefore, the rabbi, the president and 10 elders met in the conference room of the synagogue, sitting about a magnificent mahogany table. One by one the issues were dealt with and on each issue, it became more and more apparent that the rabbi was a lonely voice in the wilderness.

The president said, "Come, Rabbi, enough of this. Let us vote and allow the majority to rule." He passed out slips of paper, and each man made his mark. ... "You may examine them, Rabbi. It is 11 to one against you. We have a majority." ...

"So," he said, "you now think because of the vote that you are right and I am wrong. Well, that is not so. I ... call upon the Holy One of Israel to give us a sign that I am right and you are wrong."

And as he said so, there came a frightful crack of thunder and brilliant flash of lightning that struck the mahogany table and cracked it in two ... and the elders were hurled to the floor.

Through the carnage, the rabbi remained erect and untouched, his eyes flashing and a grim smile on his face.

Slowly, the president lifted himself above what was left of the table. His hair was singed, his glasses were hanging from one ear, his clothing was in disarray.

He said, "All right, 11 to two. We still have the majority."

Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992) was a scientist and one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He was best known for his science fiction works

APPLICATION

Funny how we want what we want, regardless of what God says. But in the end, whether in matters of contention, or any other thing, God's vote is the only vote that counts!

"Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge" (Romans 3:4).

 Illustration Exchange

Searching For God In A Quiet Place of Wonder

Jewish Stories/Humor Experiencing God Prayer

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-12-11

Scripture: Luke 5:16 ; Mark 1:35

Author: Anonymous Chasidic Storyteller
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German Officer Defies Hitler to Honor Scripture

Word of God Doctrine-Sound Israel

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-01-20

Scripture: Genesis 12:3 ; 2 Timothy 3:16

Author: Hal Lindsey
5

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Poster Child of Nazi Party Turns Out to Be Jewish

Israel Mocking God's Judgment

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-07-29

Scripture: Proverbs 3:34

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

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Christian Group Protests Israel

Israel Prophecy Jesus, Messiah

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-06-29

Author: Illustration Exchange
1

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Trust In God Or Oil

Trust (In God) Dependence on God Israel

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-05-20

Scripture: Proverbs 3:5

Author: Golda Meir / Illustration Exchange
5

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Ukranian Jews Ordered to Register With the New Regime

Israel Intimidation End Times

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-19

Scripture: Matthew 24:

Author: Illustration Exchange
3

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For Modern Jews on Yom Kippur, White Is The New Black

Atonement Israel Jesus, Messiah

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-09-13

Scripture: Romans 3:25 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Author: Illustration Exchange
4

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