Students in Stage 4 have been busy weaving some wonderful creations during their time studying Material Technologies. This unit of study focuses on students experiencing the practical skill of weaving. Students wear many woven and knitted fabrics and while these items are an important part of their lives, little thought is given to how they are made. This unit is aimed at giving students a new appreciation for the clothes that they wear, the sheets and blankets that they use every day as well as the many other items they find around their homes.
We spent some time talking about how the first clothing made by God for Adam and Eve was a covering for the shame they experienced when they disobeyed God. In Genesis, we read that “The Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and Eve”(Genesis 3:21). Since the moment that people first disobeyed God, and then tried to hide their new experience of shame by sewing fig leaves together, God has provided clothing for his people. While the very first clothing God provided was made from animal skins, people later developed methods of making cloth using weaving techniques. Cloth was initially woven from wool, cotton, silk or linen(flax). By the time of the early church, the buying and selling of fabric was an important and lucrative industry. We read about Lydia, a seller of purple cloth, in the book of Acts.
Paul, Silas and Luke had just arrived in Philippi after travelling by boat. Luke, the author of the Book of Acts, tells us in his own words…“On the Sabbath, we went a little way outside the city to a riverbank, where we thought people would be meeting for prayer, and we sat down to speak with some women who had gathered there. One of them was Lydia from Thyatira, a merchant of expensive purple cloth, who worshipped God. As she listened to us, the Lord opened her heart, and she accepted what Paul was saying. She and her household were baptised and she asked us to be her guests” (Acts 16:13-15a)
While clothing was initially provided as a covering for our sin, clothing and other woven products have become a very important and essential part of our lives. Ultimately though, no matter how beautiful or expensive our clothes, nothing can cover our sin except the “blood of Jesus.” He died on the cross to set us free from the consequences of all the wrong choices we make throughout our lives. “….the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:7-9)
During Material Technologies, as well as learning about the important process of weaving and creating our own woven masterpieces, we are also challenged to be like Lydia, the merchant of expensive purple cloth, and accept the truth of Jesus!