This session I’ve had the great pleasure of leading our Bible Study Story Lab skill. Over the session we’ve met together six different times outside on the covered porch by Eden Hall and other places outside around camp. An interlude between all the good hard playing we do at camp. It’s been a gift seeing the Biblical Story and other stories that have been influenced by the Gospel come alive to the campers in the skill. They have an amazing interest and depth.
Our first day together I gave a vision of what our time together would be about: What does Jesus mean by “neighbor”? Who are our “neighbors”? Bible Study skill is an interesting thing to try and nail down. It’s not necessarily a traditional skill, one where you know exactly the point of connection or development that you’re trying to get to. Something like archery or basketball. It takes some thoughtfulness. Discussion. Questions. All things that are valuable in understanding how we apply Jesus’ call to love and make disciples. Setting the vision for the session, our foundational text was Matthew 22:34-40: The Greatest Commandment.
In discovering how Jesus tells us to love God with all of our heart, mind, and soul, we read other stories about contemporary people who have done work in their communities to change things for good. Stories of people who were compelled by Jesus’ commandment to love God with everything you are and love your neighbor as yourself. Stories of people like Fanny Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King Jr., and stories from Jesus’ ministry. These stories have the gift of shaping our view of God. They show us the possibilities of how God uses people just like us to do things that reshape and redeem our communities. They are good news.
For our last day together, we walked around to some of their favorite places on camp to take Polaroid pictures of our “neighbors” at places that matter to us. We walked all across camp, from the lower soccer field to Homesteading and places in-between. As we walked, we took notice of all of the many different people in our paths. People in the same cabin, people in different tribes or camps, and people we were seeing for the first time. I asked a them a question, one to see what they’d heard from our time together this session: What’s one thing that stuck out to you as interesting from everything we’ve talked about this session? Not taking long, Carter a camper from cabin 25, said that he found it interesting that there are stories that are worth reading outside of the stories we read about in Scripture. Stories of people who have shaped the world and lived in a world similar to ours.
Carter appreciated that God uses people. That God calls out something big, a gift, in each of us to love those around us in a big way. For that is the Greatest Commandment. Love God with all that you are. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Bear Camp Director