Monday, October 7, 2013

Playful Parables

People often expect faith and religion to be heavy and serious. Sometimes it is, but you can always bring a sense of humor into it. (I personally believe that God laughs a whole lot more than we realize!) The parables are a great way to bring the "play" into Godly Play. 

The parables are a genre in Godly Play intended to ignite creativity and help us think out-of-the-box. There is a sort of Wondering at the beginning of each parable that provides lots of opportunities for play. The storyteller pulls something out of the box and invites the listeners to imagine what it could be. Then, the storyteller often acts out whatever the listener has named.

Here, during the Parable of the Good Samaritan, I took the brown underlay out of the golden box and asked what it could be. One child said, "A shawl!", so I put it around my head as a chorus of giggles broke out.

Then, I took out the two black felt pieces that represent the mountains that the robbers hide behind in the story and asked what they could be. One child said that they were the blinders that you put around a horse's eyes to prevent them from looking to the side, so I, of course, pretended to be a horse and put them up to my eyes. Again, many giggles. After all, who expects their teacher to do something that silly? It all reminds me to not take life so seriously and have a little fun along the way. 

This playfulness sets the stage for being open to the parables themselves and whatever God might want to speak to us about them at that moment in our lives. Although most of us grow up hearing a certain "interpretation" of each parable, there are many levels of interpretation and meaning. If this were not so, Jesus would have given an official "answer" to each one. Instead, he bids us to come and play, seek, and find. 

Doesn't that sound inviting?

Linked to Montessori Monday at Living Montessori Now

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