If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. — Archbishop Desmond Tutu
This workshop introduces what is a remarkable characteristic of the Hebrew scripture—it contains within it not only the stories of times when the Jewish people and their leaders were exceptional, or courageous or righteous, but also stories of times when the people and their leaders were immoral, or corrupt, or wicked, and needed prophets to call them back to right relationship with each other and with the divine. This workshop introduces the story of King David, Bathsheba, and the prophet Nathan. Although the story of David and Bathsheba is often viewed as a cautionary tale about adultery, it is rather a story about greed, and entitlement, and injustice. Rather than focus on the sensational details of the David and Bathsheba story, this workshop for all ages moves that story to the background, and focuses on the parable told by the prophet Nathan as he accused King David of immoral behavior. Participants of all ages will hear the prophet Nathan's parable as it is written in the Bible, and then explore the thoughts, feelings, and motivations of the parable's characters by taking part in a re-enactment. They will also consider how "God" in this story (represented by Nathan) is different from "God" in the David and Goliath story. The workshop asks key questions to tie the story to participants' lives: When have I taken more than my share? When have I had something taken from me? When am I a prophet, calling out injustice and wrong-doing and speaking for what is fair and right? Participants are offered a choice of activities and approaches for delving more deeply into the story and key questions before coming back together for a closing worship.
This workshop continues a pattern of activities that frame all of the workshops in this program. Congregations may wish to establish their own patterns, perhaps arranging for refreshments or a meal to precede or follow each workshop.
Before leading this workshop, review the Accessibility Guidelines for Workshop Presenters found in the program Introduction and make any accommodations necessary for your group.
This workshop will:
- Present the parable told to David by the prophet Nathan and invite participants to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the story and its context
- Invite participants to reflect on their personal experiences with injustice and greed
- Invite participants to consider times when they are called to act as prophet.
- Gain knowledge and understanding of the actions, thoughts, feelings, and motivations of the characters in the Nathan's parable
- Recall their personal experiences with injustice and greed using a variety of approaches
- Reflect on the experience of being a prophet and taking a stance in support of what is just and fair
- Consider the role of God in this story and compare it with the role of God in the previous workshop
- Experience connection with people of all ages and be enriched by variety of different perspectives offered.