An introduction to the foundation of Paul’s Jewish theology: Shalom as God’s Desire
Achievement-Based Objective: By the end of this unit you will have …
- Watched and listened to a video exploring the Jewish notion of Shalom
- Reviewed and responded to elements from the video on Shalom
- Meditated on Psalm 85
- Explored a metaphor for Shalom by creating a piece of art
- Responded to a poem about God, written by Hafez.
Est. Time to Complete: 1:40
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Materials Available for This Unit
- Your Course Journal
- PDF of All Learning Tasks
- A PDF Checklist for Learning Tasks
- Readings and Bibliographies
- Audio/Video/Quizzes & Exercises
- “Shalom” (24:10)
Note: You may download the video and/or audio files by right-clicking on the relevant items and saving to your computer.
Learning Tasks for M3U2
Outline of Learning Tasks for Unit
Learning Task #1: Watch the video “Shalom” and Respond (45 min)
Learning Task #2: Meditate on Psalm 85 (15 min)
Learning Task #3: Imagine a Fruitful Field (30 min)
Learning Task #4: Explore a Poetic Image of the God of Shalom (10 min)
Respond to the following questions in your Course Journal.
M3U2-Learning Task 1: Watch the Video “Shalom” and Respond (45 min)
Watch the video, “Shalom” (24:10) and then respond to the questions and freewriting prompts. (See below the video.)
NOTE: This video was made in 2018, when what I now call “Learning Task” was called “Action Step.” Please “translate” my mention of “Action Step” to “Learning Task” in your listening!
In your Course Journal, respond to the following questions or prompts related to the video, “Shalom”
- What are two significant blocks to our understanding the meaning of Shalom in the Hebrew Scriptures? (somewhere around 3:30 in the video)
- What 3 characteristics are suggested in the video regarding the Shalom of God’s creation as narrated in Genesis 1? (somewhere around 8:15 in the video)
- What’s one new idea in the video that you’d like to explore? It can be something you disagree with, or something that is simply brand new. Freewrite for 5 minutes about that idea–exploring and/or challenging the idea. If you get hooked, let yourself continue beyond 5 minutes.
M3U2-Learning Task 2: Meditate on Psalm 85 (15 minutes)
Read Psalm 85 aloud to yourself. Sit still and meditate on the Psalm for at least 7 minutes. Do not write. Do not do anything — just sit, with Psalm 85 before you. For 7 minutes. (Timers are wonderful things.)
M3U2-Learning Task 3: Imagine a Fruitful Field (30 min)
Now … back to your Course Journal (perhaps) — Isaiah 32:16-17 uses that lovely image of a “fruitful field.” This may well be an excellent metaphor for Shalom (field is vehicle–Shalom is tenor). Write a poem in your Course Journal using the image of a fruitful field. Or, if you prefer, draw or paint a small picture of a fruitful field. Or, grab your guitar and make up a song about a fruitful field. Or, if you’re of a mind and body to do so, get up and dance a fruitful field.
If it will help, you can search for an image of a fruitful field online. Pixabay is a good place to go for free images. Or, Google images. Just don’t get lost down the rabbit hole of trying to find the perfect picture. Just search enough to get your wordy little mind to begin working in wider ways.
And, whether you write a poem or draw a picture or write a song, or dance a dance–this can be private or shared with someone you love and trust. Spend some time wallowing in a fruitful field!
M3U2-Learning Task 4: Explore a Poetic Image of the God of Shalom (10 min)
In the video, the discussion of “Relationality” regarding God’s creation opens with a spinning graphic of two dancers dancing. (Because that is exactly what dancers do. They dance!)
In his book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, Gregory Boyle quotes poetry by Hafez (p.14; Simon & Schuster):
Every child has known God.
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts,
Not the God who ever does anything weird.
But the God who only knows
And He keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come dance with me.”
Spend 7 minutes freewriting in your Course Journal on what it might mean to say God only knows these four words: “Come dance with me.” Expand that idea. Play with it. Take it where you will. Perhaps that–both what you write and the act of writing it–is an act that participates in Shalom.
Now, before you leave this unit … in your Course Journal … Respond to the following question:
When have you experienced at least a corner of Shalom? Time and Place?
If you have completed all the Learning Tasks with good intent
you may “Mark Complete” and move forward!