Woven Blessings
Winter 2004

by Sheri L. VanDuyn

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THE Basket~~

When we walk the path of Life
With sincerity, honesty, courage and truthfulness;
We are like the upright basket
Which can hold the fruits of harvest
We can receive and share the blessings abundantly.
But when we have strayed from the Path
And are not trustworthy, honest or reliable,
We are like the basket turned over.
We cannot contain, receive or give of
The many blessings of life,
When we are upside down,
We are empty and useless.
So be a vessel for the Lord and for others.
Be functional and willing to be used by God for others.
He will use you daily and upon every occasion.
Serve the purpose for which you were designed.

I receive many Emails daily which I enjoy opening, reading, and answering. One gal wrote me this Fall and wondered of I have ever written a Devotional on the Baskets from the Bible. I responded that I have given several talks to church groups and my students on this topic, but have not written out my thoughts here in the Magazine. So I thought that I would like to share some of this with you now.

The nice thing about teaching Art in a small private school is that you can share your passion. Another great thing is being in a Christian school allows you to share your faith with your passion and for me that is basketry and weaving.

Starting our weaving unit, I always ask my Art 1 classes to name the most famous Basket in the Old Testament of the Bible. Of course, they exclaim Moses and his basket. His Mother wove a basket of papyrus reeds and lined this with pitch and tar. Then she placed her baby boy in the basket and placed him in the Nile River to be found later by the handmaiden of Pharaoh’s daughter. The baby was named "Moses" which means "to draw out" because she had drawn him out of the water. What faith this Mother had to weave her basket so tightly and then place her baby boy in. (Exodus 2)

Then I ask them to come up with the most famous basket in the New Testament. Here the students always remember the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with the fish and the 5 loaves of bread as they were passed in baskets to the crowd. Here a little boy with his small amount of food was used in a miracle that Jesus performed using simple baskets. After Jesus had fed the crowd there were still 12 baskets filled with the leftovers. (John 6: 1-14)

I then challenge my students to find 5 more references in the Bible that have to deal with weaving or with baskets. After finding the passages, they must be able to write them out and be able to tell about the context of the Bible story.

My first Old Testament reference to Baskets comes from the first books of the Bible in Deuteronomy 26. Here the Canaanites bring their first fruits to the temple as an offering to God for their good harvest; thankful for their crops.

Another New Testament passage talks of Paul being lowered from the city walls. Just think of the weave and the strength of this basket to be able to support the weight of a grown man as he was carefully passed down to the ground. (Acts 9: 25) Again a simple basket was used for God’s purposes. There are other references to baskets in the Bible and perhaps another time I can highlight them. In the meantime, I challenge you as I challenged my Art students to search your Bible for these.

Now think of your most useful basket; then think of the many things that you can use this basket for. My most favorite baskets are the ones that I can use on a daily basis. These are the workers for me-such as my teaching tote basket. I use one for about 2 years before replacing to have another one carry my grade book, lesson plans with other class and school materials. The design is simple and serves a purpose each day that I go to school.

While I have baskets that decorate my home, I call these my pretty baskets because they basically sit "pretty." I know that life calls you to work for the Lord and I like to think of myself as a basket being used by the Lord. Maybe that’s why I like baskets so much. We all are different shapes and sizes and we each have different purposes for the Lord; so think of how God wants to use you and for what purpose He has designed you for.

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