January 24-30, 2016
Sing Out the Story!
Biblical Text: 2 Chronicles 34-36
Value of This Activity:
Helps us break down a larger story into smaller units. Shifting prose into poetic expression compresses the units of the story and allows us to distill the human emotions or images of the story (rather than explaining or psychologizing the story).
Bible. Pen and Paper.
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 2 Chronicles 34-36.
- What is a prominent theme of this long story? There may be several important themes. Just pick one that you want to focus on. What one word or short phrase comes to your mind as a summary of the story?
- Write a short ‘chorus-like’ verse that articulates that theme for you. (You might want to look at Psalm 136 for a model: “for God’s mercy endureth forever.” Or, you could write a short chorus, much like we are familiar with in praise songs.)
- If you wish, feel free to make up a tune for your chorus. Or just play around with chanting it in some fashion. Sing it throughout the day!
- Look at the text again. Divide the story in the text into its major components. There may be 3 or even more major sections. You don’t have to follow the guidelines of how your edition divides up the story. Divide it up on a way that makes sense to you. Keep the components fairly large.
- Write a very brief summary for each component/section of the story. One sentence or less is fine.
Day Four and following
- The final step is to ‘reduce’ each of those components to a brief verse for your song. (You can look at Psalm 78 to see how the psalmist tells a large historical tale through a poem.) The verses of the song do not have to have rhyme or even meter, unless you want them to. You can chant the verses, or rap with them, or just let it be spoken verse.
- By the end of the week you’ll have a new song to sing. Share it with someone! Sing it for yourself.
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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