Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thinking about Isaiah 61

Jesus reads Isaiah 61 a long time ago in that Synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:18-19). He closes the roll and returns it to the attendant. All eyes are fixed on him. And he says: today...

There are so many possible lessons in today's words that I noted as I prepared for this part of the class, on its own, about the presentation of 'ancient time' and 'today' to those of us with only a few years of memory.

Then I also covered the upper room and the institution of the Eucharist - It was of necessity brief - but again time, memory, and presence are in the story.

Honey cake for the feast. Jewish New Year and Anointed Time all in one. Delight yourselves in fatness (Isaiah 55:2).

After Job or even in tandem, I think Isaiah 40-66 a good next project.

The 35 minute lesson was successful. The door keeper and I acted out the reading. She handed me the 'scroll' to read, I read the frame in English and the Isaiah portion in Hebrew, showing them a scroll in English and Hebrew, then I handed the scroll back to her and sat down. In contrast to other godly play lessons where eye contact is not the norm, this one with its lesson - all eyes were upon him - required action and eye contact. A student had helped me prepare by finding the Spirit רוח (ruach) and 'on me' עלי (alai) with the blocks. The whole class 'learned' these two words.

We made a time line to illustrate the 'length' of 2000 years. We started with a question to the young Korean - how old are you - and he held up his five digits with open palm. So we marked on the time line our points, the dates of the events of the gospel and the time of Isaiah, 600 to 800 years prior to them.

For such a long lesson everyone was quiet. It is a good lead in to Pentecost.

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