Jump directly to the Content

Tattered, Bruised-and Used

God is not easy on the people who get used in the gospel drama.

The word flannelgraph conjures up memories for anyone who grew up in church a generation ago. Now in the age of digital video, the old flannelgraph is long retired. But it did teach me something as a child that can never be learned from its electronic successors in Christian education.

Flannelgraphs were large boards wrapped tightly in flannel, usually perched on wooden easels. Mrs. Williams, my second grade Sunday school teacher, told her Bible stories with the children seated on the floor around her. As she introduced each character of the story, she would place a paper figure of that person up on the board. She pressed the figure into the flannel, sliding her long bony fingers back and forth across it. Magically the little paper characters stayed attached to the flannel.

Well, most of them did. Mrs. Williams always had trouble with the apostle Paul. He had been overused in the stories and he didn't smooth out so well. Long ago someone had spilled Kool-Aid on Paul, discoloring his robe. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

May/June
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Related
Looking to Bless
Looking to Bless
You can bless your congregation when you learn to see the image of God.
From the Magazine
As for Me and My Household, We’ll Resist Mammon
As for Me and My Household, We’ll Resist Mammon
Money promises autonomous abundance. But we need someplace where we cannot hide.
Editor's Pick
Why Suffering Belongs in Our Sermons
Interview
Why Suffering Belongs in Our Sermons
Matthew D. Kim believes addressing pain is part of a preacher’s calling.
close