Bonus Devotional: God Says Yes

Many of my posts are about children’s faith formation.  Here’s a creative, poetry activity for youth and adults I plan to use with our groups this week. The thoughts and activity below were inspired by the commentary on Mark 7:24-37 on Peace, Christine

In worship yesterday, our pastor did an artful job working with a challenging text, Matthew 15:21-28. A similar story is found in Mark 7:24-37. In this text, a foreign woman (not from Israel) asks Jesus to heal her daughter. If we don’t spend some time thinking about this passage,  it is one that leaves us wondering, why is this even in the Bible? Really, who wants to think about Jesus tossing slurs at people? He calls her a dog. And, I’m pretty sure he he didn’t mean one of the pampered pups we see around town. But the woman knew the truth. She knew it deep enough in her heart to stand up to Jesus himself. Sure, she may have thought, you can call me a dog, but we all know even dogs get crumbs. Yesterday’s sermon outlined how Jesus was changed in this encounter. Powerful stuff.

Before you go any further, I want you to think of seven things about you. Write down:

  1. strong personality trait ____________
  2. physical trait you don’t care for ________________
  3. clothing, accessory, or cosmetic that is distinctly your style _________________
  4. a favorite nick name ______________________
  5. a rule you need to follow that seems trivial ________________________
  6. a second favorite nick name __________________________
  7. Lastly, what’s your preferred pronoun for God: He, She or God? ____________
  8. Object pronoun, matching #7: God, her or him _____________

As I mentioned above, this  activity is inspired by  an expert commentary  that incorporated the poem,  “God says yes to me” by Kaylin Haught.  If you have time, take a few minutes to read the whole commentary over at Ask yourself: “How does God say yes to me, not in spite of who I am, but because of who I am?” Use your answers above to complete the template below, creating a your own version of the poem about how God says yes to YOU. The original work used the pronoun “she” for God, but darling, you use whatever word that helps you imagine God.

I asked God if it was okay to be (1)

and (8) said yes

I asked (8) if it was okay to be (2)

and (7) said it sure is

I asked (8) if I could wear (3)

or not wear (3)

and (8) said (4)

(7) calls me that sometimes

(7) said you can do just exactly

what you want to

Thanks God I said

And is it even okay if I don’t (5)

(6) God said

who knows where (7) picked that up

what I’m telling you is

Yes Yes Yes

How does your poem compare to the original? How would this poem read if you wrote it from the perspective of the woman in Mark 7:24-37?  I’d love to hear your responses in the comments.

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