Today’s Illustration: An Analogical Illustration, Illustrated

A “Place Setting” is something you learn about in the early years of childhood, when we are taught to set up the table for a family meal or a guest dinner.

  • A “Place Setting” gives order to the items used during a meal.
  • There is a certain order and placement of the various items based on the cultural conventions.
  • A place setting can be singular or multiple.
  • Some “place settings” are decorative, and remain in place without any anticipation of immediate use.
  • Minimally, it involves a plate, or a placemat, or at least two utensils to designate an area.
  • It involves a generally delineated area.  The margins are indefinite.
  • More than one person can construct it.
  • It may or may not include a variety of items — a placemat, plates, forks, a knife, and spoons, glasses and/or cups, a napkin, a name card, and the placement of a seat.
  • Some items may rest on a placemat, if a placemat is used.  Not all items need to be on the placemat.
  • A tablecloth is not part of a place setting, but a place setting may be on top of a tablecloth.
  • Most any surface can be used to establish a place setting —  a TV tray, a crate, or a cardboard box could be the foundation for a table setting.
  • The items used to create a place setting may reflect the importance of the meal, the quality of the food, or the class of the guests.
  • “Place Settings” are slowly dismantled and ultimately deconstructed during use.

. . 

Key Biblical Thoughts:

  • problems / trials
  • helping people
  • counseling
  • caring
  • love
  • design
  • creation
  • tradition
  • orderliness
  • concern

. . . . . 

Sermonic Example:

Note: There are several distinct methods for using illustrative material.  This is an example of using an “analogical illustration” —  which marks the teaching ministry of Tony Evans.

Section #1 of the analogical illustration:

A “Place Setting” is something you learn about in the early years of childhood, when we are taught to set up the table for a family meal or a guest dinner.

[Include and state whatever bullet points that you want to pull down in the analogy.
In section #1, I will include and state most of these bullet points to set up the analogy for section #2.
Therefore I would have included and stated most of the bullet points in section #1, before section #2]

. .. . 

Section #2 of the analogical illustration:

Likewise, when it comes to supporting people, caring for them with a sincere love — there are certain words and actions that tell a person — in our culture — that there is a place setting for them in your heart.

It may be a single individual, or a group of multiple individuals — perhaps a family.

You are there to give some order and understanding to what has happened or is happening.

You are there because you want to let that individual or group know that you are there to share the problem with them — that you are willing to sit with them at the table and work through the problem.

Your presence, your words, and actions are not decorative — but are meant to convey that you care and you care about them now.

Your presence at the table and your words and actions may be minimal or much more extensive — They may include a variety of items and may involve many parts and pieces on the table of life and living.

The margins of what you believe must be done to help may not be clearly defined or delineated at the moment.

It may take more than one person to set up the help and provide the answers to the problem.

What you are willing to do, the words you use, and the time you give to them reflect the importance you place on them.

As you work through the problem with them, you will find that not everything will fit nicely on the placemat.

Your goal is to arrive at a place to where the problem is dismantled and deconstructed. . . . .

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