Rationale, Aims, Outcomes & Theological Reflection

Rationale: 

The purpose of the ‘Sweeter than honey’ Scripture Teaching Professional Learning Initiative is to inspire and support RE teachers in their own faith formation and in their teaching to engage their students in a more critical, creative and prayerful encounter with the sacred Scriptures.

Aims:

  1. To support teachers in gaining the necessary key skills and insights to be able to effectively interpret and teach Scripture.
  2. To inspire teachers to appreciate the wisdom contained in Scripture and its relevance to ordinary daily life
  3. To deepen within teachers a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer and study of the Scriptures.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Develop their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Scripture
  2. Use a critical approach to reading Scripture
  3. Apply insights from Scripture to contemporary (their) life.

 

 

Teacher Objectives:

  1. Enhance teacher competence in teaching Scripture
  2. Inspire teacher confidence in teaching Scripture
  3. Enhance teacher appreciation of the place and role of Scripture in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

 

A theological reflection

Our chosen theme expresses the conviction that God’s Word is true nourishment for our lives. Our tradition tells us that the Word is to be tasted, chewed, savoured, eaten… It is real food that sustains us, making us strong and able to walk in God’s ways, resilient to setbacks. But not only this, the words of the Lord are ‘sweet’, bringing joy and delight, uplifting our spirits.

Through such concrete, tactile imagery our tradition leads us to relate to the Word as embodied in the human story. The Word is not in some faraway heaven, but near to us, ‘in your mouth and in your heart’ (Dt 30:11-14). It is enfleshed, sacramental, embodied in the story of Israel and in the life of the Church. The Word is encountered in our relationships and draws us into conversation with God.  It has creative power – the power to transform, re-creating us, giving us direction, purpose.  It instils in us a heart for the poor and a concern for all creation.

The Word finds its fullest expression in the Incarnation: ‘the Word became flesh and lived among us’ (Jn 1:14). Jesus the Living Word is alive in our own stories, struggles, hopes and dreams. Our ‘Sweeter than honey’ initiative invites us all to better grasp this incarnational dimension of God’s Word.

From here, we wish to explore the question: how do we introduce Scripture to our students and lead them into a lifelong adventure with the Word? How do we create opportunities for our young to taste the words of the LORD and find them ‘sweeter than honey’? What can we do, in the classroom, in the home and in the parish, to create the optimal conditions for our young people to enter into a conversation with God via the sacred text, and to enjoy a sense of belonging to God’s people through our sacred story?

What practical strategies work well with children and young people? What time-honoured interpretative methods has our tradition passed on to us? What lessons can we glean from Scripture itself in this regard? How do we observe the biblical characters listening, pondering, inquiring, sharing, proclaiming as they encounter the words of the LORD?

How sweet to my taste are your words, O LORD; sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103)