Rocks & Stones

by Emmalea Butler

"As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him -- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:4-5.

A few years ago I did three presentations using a rock as my theme; once for a ladies retreat, once with a local college kids group, and once with the SOS club - ages 5-12.

For the two adult groups - before I started my talk - I gave a door prize - a fancy wrapped box with a softball size rock decorated with a painted red heart with a black cross in the center of the heart. I sprayed an acrylic coating on the paint - also included (and read to the audience) was the prayer rock poem that you now have on the website. They all laughed and it set a good tone for my message.

As a favor for the whole group, (passed out near the end of my message), I took small smooth stones and used permanent markers drawing the red heart with a cross in the center of it - (the Jesus in my heart symbol). I wrapped each small rock with tissue paper and tied it with a bow. I put the wrapped rocks in a basket when I spoke to the ladies, and in a box when I spoke to the college group and the SOS club. The little "gifts" were in plain view as I spoke. (This worked well to keep the attention and good behavior for the kids at SOS).

My talk was about how rocks or stones were used in the Bible. Rocks and stones were used to build fences, to make pathways, to create altars, to hurt others, to slay people, etc. It was easy to find stories and scriptures to bring this message across for all age levels.

I then spoke about the words that we speak as Christians - being like the rocks and stones of the Bible. But, as Christians, our words should be different because we have "Jesus in our hearts". Our words can still do today, every thing that rocks did in the Bible. But - as a Christian, we should be more aware and more determined to use our "rocks" to honor God. *

I asked my audience to think about how many times had they been hurt by "flying (words) rocks" from others ----- even by Christians. I challenged them to think about how they have used their words. Have they consistently used them to make pathways to Calvary --- or build a fence of protection for our children (TV - movies etc.) OR - a fence that kept someone out of desiring to be a Christian or to join a work within the ministry? Did they use their words to create an altar of worship with praise and adoration for the Lord? --- or perhaps they had hurled a rock that hurt someone or killed a tender spirit.

It ended up being pretty powerful for the adults, and hopefully a thought provoking guide for the children.

At the end I passed the basket (or box) of the tissue wrapped rocks. I told them, as we unwrapped them together, to notice the small stone - having the "Jesus in my heart" symbol. I asked them to hold them tightly in their hand as we prayed together for God's forgiveness, and for HIS guidance of our words and deeds as we represented His Son, with our lives daily. I told them to keep the stone where they would see it often, in their purse or car, in their pocket, near their bed, etc. I reminded them to let this little stone be a check point for them to reflect on their behavior as a Child of the King. Rocks are powerful and so are our words. They can be used for good. They can also be used to hurt and destroy.

At the end of my speech at the Ladies' Retreat, I also gave a larger rock to the Pastor's wife. I asked her, and the other ladies of the church, to put that rock on the church property. Every time a child or other adult would happen to find the rock in the flower bed etc. if they overheard a comment about it, they could use this opportunity to tell others what the heart in cross on the rock represented.

I recently heard comments that reminded me of this presentation and thought that I would share the way that I used the rock as an object lesson -- it was a good reminder to me even as I did so.

YSIC - Joyfully Serving HIM, 
Copyright 2002 Emmalea 

* Click here to get Emmalea's Word Rocks worksheet.

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