…. and it was scary and exciting. It’s scary because I worry whether people will be interested, or whether I’ve got enough stuff planned for the time, or whether anyone will even show up.
But I figured out that it’s bad scene to try and ask people if they’ll come back. So I didn’t.
And I decided to get one of those Post-It easels this week. It will be helpful to stick the sheets on the wall as we fill them out, so that we can all see just how much we’re extracting from the Scripture reading.
And it shows me that I make so many assumptions. I figure that everyone grew up with all these stories, and that I’m in perpetual catch-up mode. I’d hate to retell something obvious. But maybe I don’t have to worry….
So, I started with a little stretching. We do that in class each week – our professor teaches yoga part-time. I think everyone in class enjoys that, regardless of their background. There’s something centering about movement after the chaos of the day. I would normally worry about whether it’s weird, whether people like it or not. But either way, they all did it. Maybe sometimes it’s not about the content, or my witty, effervescent style, but just about the participation. I just wish I had my professor’s yoga patter, about breathing and reaching into the future, and all that. eh, maybe next time.
Then we did a 2-minute silent meditation. I was a little worried about it because silence is awkward for people. What if it’s too long? But I think I’ll keep that in as well.
Then I read the Scripture, and had someone else also read it, and then split everyone into pairs to discuss two questions. First, what stood out for you? Words or phrases or images that stuck in your mind? And second, if we had a Biblical scholar with us, what question would we want to ask them? We split up for 10 minutes, and when we reconvened, then we went around and each person shared what their partner said. I thought that would encourage sharing, because it’s less intimidating to talk to just 1 person instead of the whole group, and encourage listening, which we desperately need more of these days.
I found that 10 minutes might have been a little long for it. Today’s reading was:
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. ’” – Luke 3:1-6
So I could either shorten the time, or bring in more Scripture. I think I could have brought in the Isaiah passage. I’ll consider that next time.
The most interesting thing I discovered, was that I seemed to fall into some teaching. I wasn’t intending to do that, because I wanted something more like brainstorming or induction. But it seemed to work. It taught me that I need to be more self-confident. If I’m that concerned about engaging and encouraging people, perhaps I don’t have to worry so much.