In the Jan. 5, Feb. 9 and March 9 issues of this column, I promised monthly suggestions on themes to use in decorating a boat for the annual July Fourth Boat Parade. Some of the best found were in the Bible; both the Old and New Testament.
Picture the changing of water into wine scene. With some imagination and time, along with period costumes, it wouldn’t take much to recreate this setting. Take three big urns, fill two with water and the third with red colored water. Against a desert background with palm trees, add some servants in costume, Jesus and His Mother. Label it with a big sign that reads, Wedding At Cana, and that’s all you need.
That’s not the only scene of which the Good Book is filled. From the Old Testament there’s Abraham about to sacrifice his son, the Israelite slaves working mud and straw with their feet to make bricks, Moses as an infant in a basket being found among the reeds, the same Moses as an adult years later leading his people out of Egypt to the Promised Land, spreading his hands parting the Red Sea and, once they cross, walking down the mountain carrying the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments.
Depict one of the greatest biblical scenes known, The Last Supper. Be sure all twelve apostles are sitting on the one side of a long table with Jesus in the center raising the unleavened bread and Judas watching from near the end. Pattern it after the famous painting by artist Leonardo DaVinci. Label it, "This Is My Body."
Build a scene in the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus kneeling against a large rock praying. Farther away, His apostles sleep. Accompany it with a sign that reads, The Agony In The Garden.
Since we seem to love celebrating Christmas in July, instead of using Santa and his reindeer, why not build a live nativity scene on a boat, complete with shepherds, sheep and the three Wise Men with a huge bright star.
Done tastefully, it would even be okay to mix a little religion from the Old Testament with more recent political history. Build a scene with Richard Nixon as president the evening before he resigns. Accompanied by Henry Kissinger, Nixon is on his knees, hands folded with his head bowed. The accompanying message reads, He who troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind, and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. Proverbs 11:29.
From the New Testament, capture the scene of a forgiving, merciful Jesus stopping the stoning of a lady of ill repute, saying "They who are without sin, let them cast the first stone."
Also from the New Testament, create a scene with a twelve year old Jesus sitting among the high priests of the Temple, discussing His interpretation of the Good Book. Another scene from that same testament could be of Jesus at the age of 33 throwing the money changers out of the Temple, saying, "My place is a House of Worship, but you have made it a den of thieves."
Finally, create a scene that we’ve all seen. One of an adult Christ standing outside a door that has no door handle and Christ is looking toward an unseen public. Accompany it with the words, Follow Me.
I’ve just skimmed the surface. There are many more ideas in the Bible from which to choose. And all should be done tastefully. If nothing else, I hope this column encourages more churches to join in the boat parade.
A word of caution: In the first suggestion of the second paragraph, do not use real wine. Please keep in mind that the lakes are part of the park system and any alcoholic beverages found on boats could put you in deep trouble.
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