envelop spinner search close plus arrow-right arrow-left facebook twitter
A Long Time Ago

A Long Time Ago

by Angela Becek on September 27, 2021

A long time ago, in a land far, far away…so long ago, it may as well have been another galaxy,

Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, laid siege on Jerusalem. He destroyed the city and the temple, bound Zedekiah, King of Judah and took him to Babylon. So, the Jewish people went into captivity, away from her land.

The people of Judah feared they faced extinction through assimilation, as they had seen in their kinspeople in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. They sought to retain their identity and their hope by passing on the stories of their ancestors.

The old stories were a reminder that they were a chosen people. They were chosen by God to live differently than other nations. They were chosen for a purpose: so that all the world would be blessed through them.

Someday, God would come and save them. God would keep his promise to save the world through them. Their hope lay in the stories of the past.

Our hope is in those stories, too.

Stories from Scripture: A Visitor’s Center Experience
Rethinking the Torah

The Bible is a complicated collection of old, old writings and sometimes the way verses are thrown around, it can turn us off instead of drawing us in.

This year, we’ve created something new, so that you can explore these old stories and wrestle with their meaning.

We invite you to come and interpret the Bible through the lens of the person of Jesus and through God’s overarching mission to restore the earth and end suffering.

We invite you to come and see how the stories work together, not as one-off moral lessons, but as an epic vision of God moving through time, through individuals, and through communities to change the world.

It is our hope that you will identify with that hope that has nurtured and sustained humanity for millennia.

It is our hope that you will discover God’s blessing of presence and that you would connect with God’s mission so that others will be blessed through you.

What to Expect:

Stories from Scripture is set-up with a visitor’s center experience in mind in the Aldersgate Building of Leesburg UMC (109 West Market Street).

When you visit an historical site and pass through the visitor’s center, there are exhibits that help tell the story of that space, and that’s what we’ve done, only instead of telling the story of the space, it’s a selected portion from the Bible.

It is self-guided. There are video components that you can watch, and you can move through at your own pace while you allow the art, text and artifacts to speak life to the stories.

Kids. We have some interactive elements for kids to play with while you explore. Please always supervise your children.

Artifacts and art? Well, we don’t have the original ark of the covenant if that’s what you’re looking for. That was either destroyed by the Babylonians or is possibly (but probably not) sitting in a government warehouse somewhere. We do have some cool replicas from the vast collection that is Amazon (and others).

Who is this for?

This is for you if you have an open mind to Scripture.

This is for you if you’re curious and don’t know where to begin.

This is for you if you are willing to accept that Renaissance painters interpreted the stories through the lens of their cultures.

This is for you if you are willing to accept that we have often interpreted the stories through the lens of our culture, and maybe we need to look again.

This is for you if you if you want to bring family or friends to have a good discussion and wrestle with what the stories meant for the original hearers and might mean for you today.

This is for you if you if you want to come alone to sit and reflect.

This is for you if you want your kids to know these stories and have the freedom to wrestle with them but have realized that they don’t.

This is for you if you want to be supportive of the church trying new things.

Hours may vary. Please reserve free tickets in advance.

At this time, masks are required for all guests over age 2.

Tags: torah, rethinking, stories from scripture, visitor's center

return to Faith and Life