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2BC BLOG

Jesus Makes Stone Soup by Carroll Makemson

“Jesus Makes Stone Soup” How is that for a headline? A friend once said that she sees these outlandish headlines/subjects in her email or on Facebook, but when she clicks she can’t find any real information. Well, stick with me! There is a valid connection between Jesus and stone soup.

First, you may need a refresher on the folktale Stone Soup, an old story from the French, Chinese, and Norwegian traditions, where three strangers arrive in a village hungry and tired with no food or lodging. After telling the villagers to boil three stones in a big pot of water, they continue convincing the people to add seasoning, vegetables, and meat one by one until they have a boiling pot of robust vegetable soup. In the end, the strangers not only enjoy sharing this soup with their new friends, but also lodging in their homes.

Earlier this month the children of Second Baptist Church met after the11:00 worship to hear this story, eat pizza, and make “stone soup.” Actually, their soup didn’t start with stones, but with hamburger. And, by the time the children added their gifts of broth and vegetables, they, too, had created a robust pot of vegetable soup. This soup was not to be consumed by them, but to be carried lovingly along with rolls they rolled, cookies they decorated, and hand-made cards to the church’s "Seldom Seen" members, those who worship or fellowship with us when they can, but whose appearances are “seldom seen” for one reason or another.

Now, for the Jesus part! These wise children shared that they saw “Jesus thinking” in this story because Jesus told us to welcome strangers. Yes, the story welcomes the three strangers, but these children and their parents welcomed our "Seldom Seen" members into their hearts. They lovingly delivered their packages to people they didn’t know, near strangers.  One fourth grader had such a good visit with Harvey Seeley, whom she had never met before, that she asked her parents if she could stay in touch with Mr. Seeley. 

The children quickly connected feeding the hungry strangers in the folktale to Jesus feeding the four thousand from a small basket of fish and loaves. (Mt. 15:32-29)  As the children carefully dumped their can of vegetables and can of broth into the boiling pot, their combined generosity created a very large pot of vegetable soup. They also fed a multitude, a bit smaller than Jesus, providing delicious soup for these" Seldom Seen" members while bathing their spirits with the joy that only children’s smiles and voices can bring. 

So, “Jesus Makes Stone Soup” was basically a hook to make you and the children think about the near miraculous results that happen when we think, give, and act as Jesus taught us welcoming strangers and feeding the hungry. When a bright-eyed, smiling kindergartner declared that this was “the best party ever” the adults smiled knowing that God was smiling, too!

 

Watch a short video of the mission project here:

 

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