WATCH and WONDER
as told by Rev. Jeff Krehbiel
When learning a story by heart, it is helpful to have a clear idea of what the “Most Important Thing” (MIT) is for your story. Stand up and read Matthew 21 aloud while walking around a few times. What is your initial sense of the MIT for the story?
I am struck with the ties Matthew makes to the Hebrew Testament. After Jesus gives instructions to his disciples (go get a donkey, etc.), Matthew then reminds us of Zecharaiah 9:9:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Consider the phrase that leads into it: “This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet….” According to Matthew, Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is a fulfillment of Scripture. This includes the way he gets there: Jesus comes into Jerusalem from the East via the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).
As the original teller, perhaps Matthew’s “MIT” is the fulfillment of prophecy. Try telling the story keeping this in mind. How can you make the significance of this fulfillment clear ?
Sometimes (often?) deciphering the MIT does not happen until you’ve already internalized the story…keep at it! Of course, the MIT you choose today, may not be the MIT you will choose the next time you tell the story!
LEARNING by HEART
Here is a copy of the story: Matthew 21
For all ages:
Map it out! Take a piece of paper and mark out where all the people/places are in your mind. Now, where are you, the storyteller? Tell the story with your “map” in mind.
For the younger set:
Play it out! Get out any kind of figures (as always, even salt and pepper shakers will do). Have someone read the story while the kids move the pieces…now switch roles. Once you’ve done this a few times, put your “script” down and just tell the story!
Hosanna: The word “hosanna” is translated as “save, please.” In this story, “hosanna” is used as a greeting of praise.
1 : one who declares publicly a message that one believes has come from God or a god
2 : one who foretells future events
(from Miriam-Webster “Student” dictionary online: www.wordcentral.com)
MORE TO TELL
Check back here for a short clip in which Jeff Krehbiel tells us about his own storytelling practices in worship.