Why the Pattern?

Our sewing project at the Rising Fawn Church of Christ has a theme taken from Hebrews 8:5 “according to the pattern.”

The importance of following the pattern set by God is exemplified in both the Old and New Testaments:

Genesis 6 – God gave Noah exact instructions on building the ark.
Ex. 25: 40, Ex. 26: 30, Acts 7:44, Heb. 8:5 – God gave exact instructions on the building of the tabernacle.
1st Cor. 11: 1 – Paul wrote, “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.”
Phil. 3: 17 – Paul wrote, “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.”
2nd Tim. 1: 13 –“Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.”
Phil. 2: 5 – Paul emphasized, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.”
1st Peter 2: 21 – Peter wrote, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.”

The girls in my Bible class learn the necessity of following God’s pattern and cross reference verses in their own Bibles. However, Jesus the Master Teacher, often used a strategy of presenting a complex point with simple objects. How could I do this with the girls? I decided they would learn how to sew dresses to be used in a mission project to the Philippines. To the girls, the dresses seemed complex, but by following the pattern, the complex could become simple.

When the idea was shared with the congregation as encouragement from the pulpit, the ladies of the congregation wanted to become involved. We began meeting once a month on a Sunday afternoon working together with all the girls of the congregation. Some ladies worked at home. Some wanted to contribute and purchased some dresses. However, the point was to learn “according to the pattern.”

Much spiritual application can be made from learning to use the pattern envelope for making a dress. The instructions seem confusing until one garment is chosen and the instructions on the back of the envelope divided by the size and the choice of garment. So it is with study of the Word. That also can be confusing until divided into parts to learn how each part fits the big picture.

The story of Noah is a very familiar one. Emphasis is on the instructions he was given from the Lord. Because Noah did obey exactly as God instructed God’s remedy for sin continued with the promise of the future Messiah, Satan was not victorious, and all mankind has hope.

From the small congregation of the Rising Fawn Church of Christ 25 dresses were sent to the Philippines last May to be distributed on a mission trip by Don Walker and Chris Gerber of the neighboring congregation at Trenton, Georgia. The project continues with more dresses being made for a February mission trip. Another neighboring congregation expressed desire to become involved with the project. A lady from another congregation upon seeing the dresses at the Rising Fawn Ladies’ Day, said “I have a lot of material that I didn’t know what to do with, I’d like to donate it for this project.”

The young girls are learning the lesson “according to the pattern.” God blesses the effort, not only with learning spiritual lessons and learning to sew, but involving the ladies of the congregation, being involved in foreign missions, and cooperation between congregations. Perhaps a similar project could be undertaken in your congregation.

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