What is Cellular Staining?
Cell staining is a technique that can be used to better visualize cells and cell components under a microscope. By using different stains, one can preferentially stain certain cell components, such as a nucleus or a cell wall, or the entire cell. Most stains can be used on fixed, or non-living cells, while only some can be used on living cells; some stains can be used on either living or non-living cells.
Why Stain Cells?
The most basic reason that cells are stained is to enhance visualization of the cell or certain cellular components under a microscope. Staining illuminates the cell in order to view it at greater depth. Further, it exposes different cellular structures for greater clarity and understanding of function.
Metaphors are the stain of your sermon. They allow your audience to understand the particular passage with more clarity and understanding. Metaphors invite your audience to investigate and poke around your exposition of the text by presenting it to them in a different light.
Paul often used metaphor to elucidate truth –
“Put on the full armor of God…”
“You were running a good race…”
“Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier…”
It affords your audience the chance to understand the unfamiliar through what is familiar. Further, it allows your audience to understand the familiar in a new light in order to have a deeper understanding of what might have become familiarly complacent.
Let me share an exercise from Dave Ward:
A metaphor is formed when we use analogical reasoning. One way to practice analogical thinking is to force yourself into an analogy game. Allow me to play with this for a minute taking the first summary sentence listed above: every single decision we make in life is a chance to worship God. I will take two parts of that sentence (chance and worship) and try to create an analogy from it. A chance is to worship, as _______ is to lottery. Hmmmm…ticket, opportunity, statistics. I am not satisfied yet since that makes it sound as if our worship is a matter of luck not choice. Since I am not satisfied with the idea I might try another random idea or object. A chance is to worship as ________ is to castles. Drawbridge comes to mind. Interesting. So a chance is sort of an entryway, a passageway into something else. Every decision then, is a door I have a chance to open, a drawbridge that stands between me and a royal castle full of worshiping God.
So you see how we got there? It was a game of forced analogy. Here is another example:
The Spirit is to sin as _____________ is to construction. Bulldozer, jackhammer, wrecking ball. I like those images. But what if I shifted it? (I really am just thinking these up as I write to show you how to go about it). The Spirit is to sin as ___________ is to weather. A hurricane, a tornado, a relentless monsoon or a slow and never ending trickle. Now which is it? The passage should tell you.
Now you have a creative image that serves as an illustration. Find a picture, video, or actual object to go along with it and our illustration will come to life.(From http://wesleyansermons.com/2011/09/05/finding-and-making-sermon-illustrations/, Dave Ward)