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Introduction, Workshop 2: David and Nathan - You are That Man

In "Wisdom from the Hebrew Scriptures," a Tapestry of Faith program

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.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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