Value of This Activity:
Provides an opportunity to think closely about the words used in a particular passage of scripture, as well as an opportunity to think analogically–finding alternate metaphors to explore what the text is saying.
Bible. Paper and pen.
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 Luke 12: 4-7. Here’s the RSV of this text:
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell;a yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
- On a sheet of paper, write out each sentence of the text separately, allowing 2-3″ of space between sentences.
- Rewrite each sentence in the blank space below the sentence. Here’s the challenge, though: In your re-write, try to rewrite the sentence without using any of the words that are in the original sentence. (Possible exceptions: “the”; “a” or “an”; perhaps pronouns or proper names.) If a metaphor or illustration is used in one or more of the sentences, think of a genuinely different metaphor to use, one that provides some interesting parallel or alternate to the metaphor used in the text.
- Read your new version out loud to yourself. Can you do better? Can you do another one? Fiddle around with your “rewrite”–expand or shrink at will–until you have a completely rewritten version of the text that pleases you in some way. Share it with someone!
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.