Puppets played a big part on the first day of Naremburn Cammeray mission, specifically a big blue puppet named Gary.
“I took on the role of Gary”, says Sam who participated in the kids talk at the Sydney Japanese Evangelical Church (SJEC), “a puppet who was sad because no one came along to his party”
Gary was illustrating the parable of the great banquet from Luke 14.
“We were teaching them firstly about how it feels to be rejected, and how God has been rejected, and showing how big God’s love is, that he forgives and still invites people to be his friend,” explains Sam.
“We were teaching them that Jesus has an open invitation to his banquet, and silly excuses for missing out are just that, silly,” says Matt who played the role for the Naremburn Asian Australian Church (NAAC).
Playing the role of a puppet can be a bit of challenge.
“I was really interested to see how they would respond to the puppet,” says Sam chatting about his time at SJEC, “I was worried I wouldn’t be clear.”
“It was fun,” mentions Matt, “you can see nothing of what is happening, you just assume that it’s going well. But you find out later that the kids were transfixed.”
But both Sam and Matt have some ideas about why it is worth it.
Using a puppet is almost like seeing a new creature, suggests Sam, “seeing your universe, seeing your life reflected back to you in the puppet. It brings out certain features that are salient but we wouldn’t normally focus on.”
“Exaggeration is really important,” he suggests.
“It provokes the imagination of kids to have a bright colourful character come alive for them,” Matt says, “With a puppet a kid can suspend reality and be in the moment more than the average adult can or does.”
Which of course raises the question, who’s more persuasive, man or puppet?
A puppet, Sam argues, “is really just an extension of man really, man’s creative mind, man’s ability to communicate, and it’s really the man Jesus who is being communicated.”
Matt has a slightly different take, “The puppet for sure, your always onside with a Puppet, especially the kids.”