January 31-February 6, 2016
Draw Yourself Into the Story
Biblical Text: Acts 10:1-33
Value of This Activity:
Helps us identify key elements in the narrative or text. By “owning” the elements, the details, of a story, we can re-populate the story with our own story as well as discover how elements in an ancient story or text can help us re-imagine our own story.
Bible. Pen and blank sheets of paper (preferably unlined). Writing paper or notebook.
To Begin . . .
Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.
How to Play . . .
- Read the Acts 10:1-33.
- Jot down the “basics” of the story:
- What’s the setting? (place & time)
- List the characters, both primary and secondary
- Briefly identify the basic outline of the story: Beginning / Middle / End
- Now, identify any major non-character elements in the story…something that plays a role in the story, without which the story would not be what it is. A couple of examples of such story-critical elements:
- the burning bush in the story of Moses’ call.
- the “foal of an ass” in the story of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem
- In the story of Acts 10, one of the major non-character elements is the “sheet” that was lowered in Peter’s dream. Spend the rest of this playdate “playing” with this “sheet”—what was on the sheet in Peter’s dream and how the dream-sheet functioned in the development of the story.
- What’s the key role of that dream-sheet in the story?
- “Re-create” that dream-sheet for your own personal story. Here are a couple of examples from the texts mentioned in step 3:
What might “stand-in” for a burning bush in your own story? What catches your attention and arrests your heart like a burning bush? How is God “stopping” you in the middle of your day’s business, insisting on your attention? Draw a picture or create some kind of visual representation of that “interruption” in your life that may well be an announcement of a calling.
What is the “foal of an ass” in your own story? What carries you through your “triumphant entry”? Can you even think of yourself as having a triumphant entry? Muse about “what carries me” in my strength? Draw a picture of it! Drawing a picture will keep you from getting overly spiritual or too high-falutin’. An ass is an ass … not a particularly spiritual object in our imagination. Jesus road on an ass. On what do you ride?
- What is drawn on your dream-sheet? Some questions to help: What “exclusions” do I apply to God’s grace? Who is “in” and who is “out”? What people in my life are not worthy of my partnership? Where is my ‘faithfulness’ and ‘purity’ restricting my willingness to engage others? Whom does God include? Whom do I (want to) leave out? Draw a picture that represents your own “dream-sheet”.
- If you wish, freewrite for 5-10 minutes about drawing yourself into the story: What reflections does this draw out of you? How does it clarify or interrupt your life? Do you read the story differently?
In Closing . . .
Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.
Playdate Reference Material:
Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at virginiawiles.com.
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