The Jesus deck

Other arts

The Jesus deck is a large pack of cards which can be used to teach, explore or explain stories and events in the life of Jesus.

It has 4 suits - the 4 Gospels -and 2 jokers, which remind us that we are  fools for Christ.

The order of these suits is Luke, Matthew, Mark John; shown below. 

Luke has scenes from Jesus' birth and childhood,

Matthew has scenes which illustrate Jesus' teaching,

Mark illustrates Jesus' suffering and death and

John is about resurrection.

The back of these cards, below, display the Latin cross, with the letters IC and XC in the top half of the circle. These are the first and last letters of the Greek words Jesus and Christ. The word NIKA , in the bottom half of the circle, is the Greek word for conqueror.

There are stories of the Jesus deck being used in pubs, coffee shops and so on - and some Christians have used, and are using, it at the various "Mind, Spirit and Body" festivals that are held at various places in the country.

Wherever it is used, it is important to emphasise that the Jesus Deck is not Tarot cards, nor is it about fortune telling. The person handling the deck simply says that they are going to deal a number of cards; 5 is usual, or 7 or whatever number the client (for want of a better word) wants, and they will look at them together. They will then ask if there is any card will appeals to, jumps out at or interests the client.

Often a card will be picked - the handler will explain what passage of the Bible it illustrates, and asks if that is a theme in the client's life, or if that particular story strikes a chord with them. 

Again, this is not fortune telling, it is a way of showing that the NT, or life of Jesus, has relevance today and speaks to many of the issues that concern us.

Ideally, two people will be involved in presenting the Jesus deck; the second person is invaluable in offering prayer support - and, hopefully, will be on crowd control! If they have seen the Jesus deck being used, they will be able to talk to anyone who has questions and maybe share their own experience.

There is a Grove booklet about this, which explains it far better, and in more depth, than I can do here. Details on the Resources page.

Story bags

These are bags which can be turned inside out to display a different colour, or maybe an image, each time, to illustrate, or assist in the telling of, a story.

These are available from Onewayuk, (see Resources page), and there are a number of stories available. Some of the bags I have e.g Creation, have patterned cloth for the flowers and animals, Joseph's multicoloured coat, and so on. This might restrict the stories you can use with them.

But if the bag has plain colours only, they can be used for almost any story, or lesson, you like - not even necessarily from the Bible. The fun is in producing a different colour or picture each time the bag is turned inside out.

Story outline
with information about the various colours.
Gospel Magic

There are hundreds of illusions that you can buy, or make, that will illustrate themes, lessons, passages or stories. 

It's not possible to show even a fraction of them here, but there is more information on the Resources page. In addition, your town/area may have a local magic club which can be a great source for buying, and learning, new tricks.