Fresh Bible: A Woman Encounters Jesus

Posted by Teen Bean in , , , , , , , , , ,

I help organize a few learning sessions for our community. I have this deep desire to see the Bible be really fresh for all people, no matter age, race, sex, culture, education or family. For people to see it, not as stories of generations past for generations past, but as stories from past generation that give incredible life to today's generations.

One practice I just did with our community was taking time to re-imagine the scene of particular Bible stories. This is done by reading a story from the Bible. Pausing to creatively imagine how those characters and places would be in our culture and experiences. Then writing down this imaginary take to help set up the scene and connection to story characters. This is done either by describing the setting through explaining smells, sounds, visuals, textures and tastes and/or developing the character through detailed description of physical appears, personality, emotional state of being etc. All based off our imagination.

Below is an example of this exercise. I highly recommend it as it worked really well in my experience.

Based on Raising Widows Dead Son, Luke 13:10-17

**I played an instrumental song (like 'Una Mattina' by Ludovico Einaudi) softly in the background as I found it really helped my creativity and connection**

1. Read Luke 7: 11-15 quietly to yourself
 11-15Not long after that, Jesus went to the village Nain. His disciples were with him, along with quite a large crowd. As they approached the village gate, they met a funeral procession—a woman's only son was being carried out for burial. And the mother was a widow. When Jesus saw her, his heart broke. He said to her, "Don't cry." Then he went over and touched the coffin. The pallbearers stopped. He said, "Young man, I tell you: Get up." The dead son sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother.
 16-17They all realized they were in a place of holy mystery, that God was at work among them. They were quietly worshipful—and then noisily grateful, calling out among themselves, "God is back, looking to the needs of his people!" The news of Jesus spread all through the country.

2. Pause take the time to use your imagination to connect to the story.
Where would the place this story have taken place looked like? smelled like? would it have been light or dark? was it loud or quiet? what color could have been there? What would the woman have been like? Does she remind you of anyone you personally know? where would she have been coming from? What emotional baggage would she be carrying? What type of physical conditions would she be feeling? What kind of clothes would she be wearing? Write this down to create your fresh take on this bible story.

3. Then read your imaginary description based offer your personal experiences and culture out loud to begin to prepare you for a re-freshening of the bible and that particular story. You might need to repeat the music or choose a couple songs to last this whole process.
I sat waiting inside. The crowd was already starting to gather outside. But I preferred the dark. I fiddled absentmindedly with the dark material of my dress. The sad saggy shape of my dress definitely mirrored the heaviness of my soul. How had this happened to me… again? The chilling similarity of this day to the day that I buried my husband sent both shivers of fear and anger down my spin. I swore I would never weep like I did that day. Lucky for me I can keep that promise to myself, as I have no tears left to cry. The dryness of a soul from crying is a pain on one should feel; yet I find myself for the second time in my life feeling it. The smell of death hung as an itchy incense in my home. … My home… I curled over in gut wrenching sorrow. When my husband and I moved into this home we had such hopes for the life’s we would live there… the full life of loving each other, having kids, raising them together, enjoying grandchildren… now we would have nothing. I thought I was going to be sick. I stood up quickly and walked over the kitchen and hung my head over the sink. I let my head rest against the cool counter. Every muscle in my body wanted me to curl up in a corner and never leave… how would I make this walk; this horrible walk of accompany my sons lifeless body to his final resting place? Pain has sucked away all my strength… God how am I to walk?

4. Then re-read the Luke 7: 11-15 and let your personal imagery bring this story to life.

5. Reflect on these three question to further deepen your encounter with Jesus through the bible.
  A. How do you relate to the character in this story?
  B. What does it tell you about Jesus?
  C. Can you see God's Kingdom in this Story?

This entry was posted on Monday, April 2, 2012 at Monday, April 02, 2012 and is filed under , , , , , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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