Unbreakable Scripture

Biblical Text: John 10:31-42
Guidelines for Individual Playdates

Value of This Activity:

Taking the Scriptures seriously can be scary at times. The texts sometimes say things that don’t sound “right” according to our human theologies. An attitude and practice of playfulness, under the loving eyes of a Divine Parent, can sometimes allow us to dare a closer, more serious, reading of Scripture. There is always the reassurance, in John 10:35 that “scripture cannot be broken.” Play! This text is safe for you and cannot be broken.

Items Needed:

Bible. Pen and Paper. A timer.

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 . . .

  1. Read John 10:31-42. Look closely at the following portion of the text:
    Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’?  If God called them gods to whom the word of God came (and scripture cannot be broken), do you say of the one whom God consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Child of God’?
  2. Set your timer for 3-5 minutes and freewrite on the final assertion of this text: I am the Child of God.
  3. Make a list of times when you have found it difficult to believe that you are a Child of God.
  4. Now, read back through your freewrite on “I am a Child of God.”
  5. Reread John 10:31-42.
  6. Ponder this statement: If we are in Christ, then all stories about Christ are also stories about ourselves. What does that statement mean?
  7. Now, read Psalm 8 (NRSV)—

    O Lord, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!You have set your glory above the heavens.

    Out of the mouths of babes and infants
    you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
    to silence the enemy and the avenger.When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars that you have established;
    what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    mortals that you care for them?

    Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
    You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under their feet,
    all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
    the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

    O Lord, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

  8. Finally, set your timer for 5 minutes. Freewrite on Jesus’ quotation from the Scriptures, when he says “You are gods.” Write whatever comes to your mind. You may write as you wish — or you may select one of the following prompts:
    • Does it it frighten you to describe yourself as a “god” (or as “a little lower than God”)?
    • How has God “crowned you with glory and honor”?
    • Does it feel as though you are blaspheming when you claim that glory and honor?
    • If you have been born of God, are you, as Jesus implies, a god who walks upon the earth, doing the works of the One who has borne you?

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:

Play Is a Critical Thinking Skill
Guidelines for Individual Playdates
Playdates with Scripture ARCHIVES

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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.