Man of the Tombs…Let Your Light Shine

Let your Light so shine before men

For this lesson I combined a passage from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5: 14-16)  “let your light shine before men” so the Father in heaven is glorified, with a practical application  from  the story of the man of the tombs in Mark 5: 1-20. I can highly recommend the You-tube music video entitled “Man of the Tombs”  by Bob Bennett uploaded by SC Watchman (5:47 minutes) to help you prepare for this lesson.

This story is also told in Luke 8: 26- 38 and Matthew( who would have been an eyewitness) 9: 18-2, and Matthew’s version mentions  two men.  All of the commentaries I have read say that only one man was possessed by the “Legion”  of demons, so that is why only one man is mentioned in Mark and Luke .  This fierce man had been driven from society and lived  in hopeless self-destuction and despair until he met  the Master.  Note that the demons were not confused as to who Jesus was and cried out through the man “You Son of the Most High God” .  Sensing their fate, they begged to be cast into a nearby herd of swine and not  into the Abyss. Jesus permitted this.  Leaving the man,  they rushed into the pigs and then  drowned  themselves in the Sea of Galilee, showing all who would  later read this account the destructive nature of evil.  The Gadarenes asked Jesus to depart, being “seized with great fear.” (and perhaps a little miffed at their financial loss, but that is speculation.)  The man begged to able to go with Jesus when he got ready to depart but the answer to this worthy prayer was “no”… “Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.’ And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis ” the great things Jesus had done for him: and all men marveled  as he let his light shine.  Aren’t you thankful that His “compassions fail not ” (Lamentations 3:22) and He is still seeking and saving those who are lost?  (Luke 19:10)

The background for this project is a home-made basket similar to Moses’ basket from an earlier post.  Two full sheets of paper  are needed, one page is cut into strips and the other one needs to be cut with an x-acto blade as shown in photo #1. (You will need to cut these ahead of time and if you have access to a paper cutter, you can cut the strips swiftly… approx. 1/2 wide ). Weave your strips and glue your ends, trimming any pieces that hang over. Crease sides as shown in #2 , then un-crease and write your verses on the front and back .  The sides will be stapled so it will be easier to write the verses with the woven part lying flat. If you have younger kids I have added a pdf file below(*)  with the verses printed that can just be cut out and glued on the baskets. Card stock is recommended  in one or two colors but not necessary. If your kids are older, you can also weave a basket out of strips of  brown grocery bags.  The strips are folded so no raw edges show and this also hides any writing.  One large grocery bag makes 12- 1  inch strips which are 19 inches long , or 6 longer strips.  Figure out which size basket you want to determine how many strips you will need and their length. Verses can be written with a black felt pen and shortened…see  sample of finished basket.  The verse on the back was shortened to say,” …Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket…”(Matthew 5:15) To finish off the basket,  make a “rim” by cutting  one long strip  at least 3 inches wide.  Fold this strip in half and then fold up  both edges 1/2  inch.  Center along the top of your basket, glue the front, fold over and then glue the back. ( I hope the picture help!)

side view

Another purpose of this strip is to add structure and  support  to the sides and hide the staples. These  baskets can also be painted ( I have used a white, water-based house paint for a nice antique effect) and are really quite sturdy! There are other  weaving methods available on the internet so use what works for you.  Be sure you make up one first so you can work out the kinks!   My kids asked me which direction to write the verses.  I think that depends on if they are going to use the baskets in a functional way…or just as a background for the verse.

#1 – weaving the cardstock

weaving basket of brown grocery bags

#3 – staple sides

#2 – crease side

Let your light shine *

weaving – verses Mark 5: 19*

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