Let's lighten up and play a faithful word game

During these continued stressful times it’s important to find some ways to blow off that stress.

For some people that might mean pounding one of those boxing punching bags. Going for a run or even a long walk can do wonders to relieve stress.

Hopefully you’re not trying one of those OTHER ways to cope that involves a bottle, some pills or lashing out at others. Let’s be on the lookout for those who make those choices and do whatever we can to help them.

When’s the last time you played a game? Just left your cares aside for awhile and grabbed a video game or cards or even a good board game?

Word games are always fun. There are a LOT of fun word games out there. And maybe we can even invent one here…

Let’s try one with sayings or quotes, but in this case with some deeper meaning. See what we can learn.

For instance, name who uttered this famous quote that is appropriate for these current times…

“Fear is the path to the dark side … fear leads to anger … anger leads to hate … hate leads to suffering.” 

OK, “dark side” probably gave it away. And no, this wasn’t from a real person although many Star Wars fans would take anything uttered by Master Yoda as real and gospel.

Now, this new BABY Yoda? There we might be going too far…  😊

Does that quote mesh with Bible teachings? Actually it DOES although a bit in reverse…

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” – Romans 5:3-4 NIV

When the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, the first of Paul’s epistles to appear in the New Testament, he was trying to teach these new Christians that suffering was coming their way. But rather than fearing it, that suffering ultimately leads to hope for eternal life.

Sound like our pandemic situation right now? Many people are suffering. Hopefully they are persevering in dealing with it but also in doing the right things to keep folks safe – the mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing things we’ve been told for a year now.

Hopefully sticking it out means many are gaining extra patience which should always build character. You may agree – we’ve had a real lack of patience in society in recent times. Give it to me and I want it NOW. Instead lately we’ve been forced to wait (most of us, at least) and while frustrating, we’re starting to see that light at the end of this pandemic tunnel.

And that’s HOPE. Hang in there folks, our hope will be fulfilled.

Let’s try another word game. Many of these games have cute names so we’ll call this one “Who’s Your Daddy?’

Go ahead, fill in the blanks…

________________ is the father of ________________.

Perhaps you can come up with several answers for that one. How about…

George Washington is the father of his country.

We’ve all heard that old line. And despite the machinations of a few in society today, ol’ George always will be.

Sometimes we can get a little tricky. What about…

God is the father of Jesus.

Obvious. But WAIT WAIT…a second answer could be…

Joseph is the father of Jesus.

Ah yes, bonus points for you. We never said heavenly or earthly. Now let’s test your Bible knowledge with…

____________is the father of Joseph.

Don’t know? Check out the first chapter of Matthew which famously details the entire lineage of Christ from Abraham through David to Jesus. There you see that Jacob was the father of Joseph, who was the earthly father of Christ.

Now for the ladies let’s try the alternate version. We’ll call it “Who’s Your Mommy?”

___________ is the mother of ____________.

You might need to reach a little farther but the favorite line here is…

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Where did that one come from? Some point back to the ancient Greek philosopher Plato although versions of the quote have popped up in the many centuries since, from different languages.

As we persevere in our current situation we realized a year ago that we needed some vaccine to deal with this pesky and sometimes dangerous virus. And that necessity had led now to multiple vaccines created in record time to eventually give safety to the entire human population.

Now if we could only give everyone their own shot in record time. THAT would be an invention. While very smart scientists figured out how to fight this thing amazingly quickly, getting it to everyone has been slowed down by old fashioned methods. Any inventors out there who can help?

How about Frustration is the mother of __________________?

Oh boy we could be here all day – headaches, ulcers, divorce, government, bad hair days. We could keep going…

Back to the Bible we have Mary is the mother of Jesus.

No dispute there. No double answers. But following on the Joseph quote above, what about…

_______________ is the mother of Mary.

Uhhhhhhhhh……no, you won’t find that one in the Gospels. We know from Luke that Elizabeth was Mary’s cousin, but who was Mary’s mother?

Tradition from one of the apocryphal books of the New Testament but also from Muslim beliefs was that Anne (or perhaps Hannah) was the mother of Mary. She’s even an official Saint. One version has that Mary came about from immaculate conception, just like Jesus. Some others dispute this. But if you’ve always wondered who St. Anne was, now you know.

So what other ways can you fill in the line…

________________ is the mother of ____________________.

What about…

Belief is the mother of faith.

Prayer is the mother of peace.

Love is the mother of charity.

Hope is the mother of enlightenment.

So there you go – hopefully in the time you took to read this post, it took your mind off the stresses and strains of life but also this insane situation we continue to deal with.

Let’s repeat Paul from above…

“...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” And as Christians that hope leads to our enlightenment in Christ.

Don’t let this pandemic get you down, no matter the circumstances. Let’s continue to stay safe and remember that these sufferings will eventually lead to increased hope. Spread that message to others this week and always, and lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed. We’ll get through this.

Yours in fun,

From George Churchgoer