Thank you for an excellent class discussion last week on poems dealing, one way or another, with Creation. For our second class we will be dealing with the much-anticipated topic of Sin!
I know, I know; who wants to talk about sin? But hang in there with me! Who knows how God will open up the ways in which we understand sin, and thereby help us to walk in newness of live with watchful savvy?
Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith
(1 Peter 5: 8-9a)
Our poems for this week include “The Entrance of Sin” by Scott Cairns and “grief,” “report from the angel of eden,” and “the birth of language,” by Lucille Clifton. As you read, I encourage you to journal and ask God, where are you in these poems for me? What, if anything, are you wanting me to realize?
Again, I encourage you to print these poems and mark them up, circling words or phrases that jump out to you and jotting questions or thoughts in the margins. Sit with them throughout the week.
The Entrance of Sin
: This is one of a series of prose poems, poems that are written in prose form. The speaker is Rabbi Saab, a fictional, irreverent, morally suspect, humorous Rabbi who has written imaginative commentaries on Scriptural passages.
(Please let Maria know ASAP if you need these materials printed and mailed to you on a weekly basis!)
Throughout this course, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers—just a conversation with God, self, and one another.
Before you start to read the poems:
- What do I hear when I hear the word “sin”?
- Look at the Confession of Sin on page 79 of the Book of Common Prayer.
- What words or phrases resonate? Which don’t?
- What about “sin” bothers me or do I struggle with?
As you read:
- Which words or phrases capture my attention? Ask God what’s there for you.
- What new possible understandings of sin arise when I read these poems?
- Where and when do I experience sin, or separation from God’s love, in my life?
- Where and when do I see sin in the world or society-at-large?
- How about grace?
As you have time, read the following helpful resources: