Haggai prophesies for a better future to comfort the people lamenting what they lost. Paul reminds the Thessalonians they are the first fruits. And Jesus deflects the Sadducees legalism and reminds us of our angelic nature.
If you were ever in Girl Scouts, you might be familiar with these lyrics: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold.” I’ve always assumed from the order that the “gold” or better friends were the old ones. Yet in Haggai, the promise of God is for a brighter future.
Get out your crayons or oil pastels and begin by writing about the “good old days” in silver or gray. Feel free to write on top of previous writing. When you’re done writing, use your fingers to smudge the writing working to eliminate the white of the paper. Then get out your gold and clearly write out your dreams for the future.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
I want to focus on 2:13 and the reminder that we are the “first fruits for salvation.” The letter was written by Paul to the first church he established so they were the “first fruits” of his ministry. First fruits are the finest that we have to offer at harvest time.
I’m going to ask you to get a food you haven’t eaten in a long time but really like. Close your eyes and focus all of your attention on the first bite. Write a few sentences about the experience of that first bite before you take the second bite.
As you go through your day, think of how you can offer yourself to God as a first fruit so you are praised as the Thessalonians were by Paul.
It’s easy to get lost in the question posed to Jesus when we read this passage, but I want to focus on 20:36 for it’s visual possibilities. You’re going to create yourself as an angel. You can draw yourself from scratch in whatever position you like or work with paper dolls. For technical details on paper dolls, click here.
Try not to get too caught up in the image of perfect blond angels making music on the clouds. Add details that make it you.