Saturday, December 31, 2016

He Born of Her          

 “No money to pay, no place to stay.”
She birthed with the breath of animals.
He gasped the dankness of fresh dung.
The gold of kings received with joy,
A few coins paid, his body was hung.

His baby lips sought her breasts,
Her lips brushed his soft cheeks.
From her he learned a mother’s kiss.
His lips greeted, loved, farewelled.
The kiss of betrayal he did not resist.

A thirst awakened on his tongue,
Her mother’s milk brought nurture.
She taught him the taste of fine wine.
From water he fermented vintage of joy,
A cup of sorrow in the garden he cried.

A newborn shivering in the cold,
Soft lamb wool swaddled him.
Her warmth the glow of very first love,
He loved the sheep every last one,
Became the sacrifical lamb from above.

Embryo ears heard hints of life outside.
Her voice told secrets of the world to come.
A childhood in Galilee with friends.
His voice healed the lame, the spirits fled.
But in the end voices condemned.

Eve’s flesh the dust of his humanity.
His human body hungered as a boy.
Her strong arms kneaded dough,
He told the lesson of leaven.
Broken bread of life we now behold.

woodblock by Eric Gill 1929  British

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

She He Never Blamed

Poem: Mary Stromer Hanson
"She He Never Blamed"
December 2016

Artist: Mina Anton
Cairo, Egypt  2013

"John 8 Woman Taken in Adultery"

She He Never Blamed                  Dec 2016
He laid no blame on her now.
Nor ever. Did he hear the taunts?
Absorb their darts of disdain?
Born of immorality they rant
In derision of his own Mother,
She could have been stoned,
If she were caught in The Act.
Jesus also bore her pain and
On such as her, he laid no blame.

His ancient mothers Rehab,
Bathsheba, Ruth, and Tamar.
Wombs used bravely despite
Deceit to further Jessie’s line.
How did they bear the shame?
Unborn waiting to be born.
His ancestry of uncertain fame,
Boldly proclaimed at his birth.
On mothers, he laid no blame.

The woman spilled blood
Unclean a disgrace shunned.
Jesus did not abhor the stain,
With no angry refrain, he healed.
A woman again unnamed,
Cried and kissed his feet.
How could a prophet not know?
That in this city she is profane.
“Go in peace I lay no blame.”

Stones raised against her,
He could see his mother.
Forced to drink the cup of dust
From the temple floor as the
Priests were quoted.
The adulteress condemned
Miscarries, barren, cursed.
Jesus bent to write in the dust.
Who of you have not sinned?

No one remains? A fetus saved?
On a woman he never laid blame.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Lesson Plans for Bold Girls


 Lesson Plan Ideas for Bold Girls Speak: Girls of the Bible Come Alive Today
by Mary Stromer Hanson

Below are several activities to preview the stories before they have been read or review the Bold
Girls after all have been read. These ideas will pull together the information learned and place
new knowledge into the larger context of the biblical world.

1) Map: On a large map of the Middle East, find the location of each of the Bold Girls. Use this
matching exercise to get started. Note that in some stories the girls moved from one country to
another. Can we visit these places today?

2) Timeline: Draw a time line either on a classroom whiteboard, bulletin board, or your own
paper. Graph paper is ideal. Starting with 1400 B.C., mark off 100 year increments until 100
A.D. Find the approximate years when the stories of the Bold Girls take place.

3) Books of the Bible: Make a list of all the books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Find the book in the Bible where each of the Bold Girls are found. Who is the author of each of
these books?

4) World History: On your time line, note other events that took place in the world outside the
Bible during these years. Who were the important kings and which countries were strongest?

5) Costumes: What would the Bold Girls wear in each of these settings? How does that change,
depending on the country, climate, time of year, their activities, or their economic status?
Students in a class could dress as one of the Bold Girls and then have the class guess which
character they are. Boys could dress as any of the male characters.

6) Work and Recreation: The Bold Girls are involved in many different activities. What would
be your daily occupation as a Bold Girl in the various stories? Students can pantomime the
different activities for the rest of the class to guess from clues. How are these activities different
from those of girls in our time and place?

7) Foods: Find books about foods of the Holy Land or recipes from the Bible.
What foods would you eat as a Bold Girl? How is the food produced and prepared? Who would
do the various stages of preparation during the times of the Bold Girls?

8) Art: Draw pictures of the Bold Girls or make illustrations for the stories.

9) Cultural and Geographic: Find books about ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, and Holy Lands.
Look for illustrations and information about daily life in those times and places.

10) Families: For each of the Bold Girls, determine the identity of other family members. Look
for hints in the original passage from the Bible. Remember that the Bold Girls stories are mostly
fictional, but built on information available from the Bible.

Matching Quiz

1. Jerusalem: The home of Mary Mark                         A. The Girl Whose Hand Jesus Held

2. Caesarea                                                                        B. The Servant Girls Who Questioned

3. Egypt                                                                             C. The Girl Who Found Her Voice

4. Jerusalem: Quarters of Zadok                                    D. The Daughters Who Prophesied

5. Damascus                                                                     E. Rhoda Who Persisted

6. Capernaum                                                                   F. The Daughters Who Built

7. Jerusalem: Palace of Caiaphas                                  G. Miriam Who Negotiated

8. Philippi (Greece)                                                          H. The Girl Who Spied

9. Sinai                                                                              I. The Daughters Who Inherited

10. Jerusalem: Walls                                                        J. The Servant Girl Who Witnessed

Answers 1. E 2. D 3. G 4. H 5. J 6. A 7. B 8. C 9. I 10. F

Quiz Your Knowledge of Bold Girls of the Bible

1) Does the Bible ever indicate that women inherited property?

2) Who bravely approached the daughter of a powerful monarch?

3) Name a woman in the Bible whom we meet both as a child and an adult?

4) Whose daughters in Jerusalem used non-traditional skills for girls?

5) Who was the Bold Girl who witnessed to an enemy soldier?

6) Who was entrusted with carrying an important message?

7) Which Bold Girl is possibly named after her place of origin?

8) Which Bold Girls are given spoken words which are recorded in the Bible?

9) Which Bold Girls are actually named in the Bible?

10) Which Bold Girls had contact with Peter?

1. Yes, the daughters of Zelophehad in Numbers 27:5 and the daughters of Job 42:15
2. Miriam, in Exodus 2:7
3. Miriam, assuming the sister in Exodus 2:4 is Miriam
4. The daughters of Shallum in Nehemiah 3:12 who repaired the walls of Jerusalem
5. An unnamed servant girl of Naaman in 2 Kings 5
6. An unnamed servant girl in 2 Samuel 17:17
7. Rhoda in Acts 12:5:7
8. Miriam, Ex 2:7; Servant of Naaman, 2 Kings 5:3; Servant girls in the house of Caiaphas Matthew 26:69-71; Rhoda in Acts 12:14; Unnamed servant girl in Philippi, Acts 16:17
9. A sister of the baby is introduced in Exodus 2:4 and is not named in the passage, but traditionally this sister has been connected with Miriam. The daughters of Zelophehad in Numbers 27:1; Rhoda in Acts 12:13
10. The servants of Caiaphas, Matthew 26:69; Rhoda Acts 12: 5-17