Sense & Emotion


The Season after Christmas and Epiphany (1/6)
January 3-9, 2016

Sense & Emotion

Biblical Text: Daniel 2; Matthew 2
Guidelines for Individual Playdates

Value of This Activity

Strengthens the imagination. Helps us hear conversations and see actions in a physical context. Assists in making connection between an ancient time and today’s world.

Items Needed

Bible. Pen and Paper.

To Begin . . .

Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.

How to Play . . .

  1. Select one of the Biblical texts to work with, either Daniel 2 or Matthew 2. If you wish you may work with different texts, or different portions of the text, on different days throughout the week.
  2. Read the biblical text.
  3. List the characters in the story. Select one to work with.
  4. Spend a few quiet moments imagining the scene in the story. Jot down a few notes about each of the following:
    • What does your character see? Be as specific as possible! Make it up.
    • What sounds does your character hear? Describe the sound.
    • What is your character touching or feeling with her or his hands? Describe.
    • What does your character smell?
    • What might your character taste?
  5. Read the biblical text again, slowly … Imagine the scene while you read the story.
  6. Spend a few quiet moments imagining how your character feels about the story being told. Write down one or two “emotion” words that you think capture what you’re sensing.
  7. Now, rewrite the story from the perspective of the character you have chosen, trying to communicate that emotional sensibility, but without ever naming the emotion. Include at least one key element from each of the five senses.

In Closing

Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.

Playdate Reference Material:

The Imaginative Intellect
Everyone Is a Character
Playing with Narratives
On Emotions
Guidelines for Individual Playdates
Playdates with Scripture Email ARCHIVES

Creative Commons License
Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

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