this weekend, I spoke on the story of samson to my friends in the middle school ministry. it seems like every time I go through this material, it seems to bother and frustrate the students, and there is lots of discussion, interruptions and questions as I'm reading the text. and this time I felt like the grandpa from princess bride-
it went kind of like this:
ME: "So Delilah said to Samson, "Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued."
STUDENTS: "but wait...Rob...why is he talking to her? doesn't he know that she wants to kill him? doesn't he see? why doesn't he see?"
ME: "you seem to be getting a little nervous... maybe we should stop reading for awhile...how about I just close the book..."
STUDENTS: "I wasn't nervous. Well, maybe I was a little bit concerned, but that's not the same thing..."
ME: "because we can stop now if you want..."
STUDENTS: "no you can read a bit more if you want..."
ME: "alright then- no more interruptions. where were we? "With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death. So he told her everything."
STUDENTS: "everything?! no- that can't be right Rob! I mean...he's a judge and a hero! the story can't end like this! you're messing up the story!"
ME: "I'm reading the story right from the book- are you sure you're ok with this?"
STUDENTS: "yeah- go ahead and keep reading..."
ME: "ok- 'Then the Philistines seized Samson, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison."
STUDENTS: "what?! what happened to his eyes? does he get his eyes back?! why didn't delilah save him? are you sure this is how the story goes?"
ME: "do you want me to read this or not? you're very upset, maybe we should just close the book now..."
STUDENTS: "no- its ok- keep reading..."
ME: "But the hair on Samson's head began to grow again after it had been shaved..."
next week is the big ending of the story- and I hope it will be both closure and a warning for all of us-
God is love.