As my D&D players entered a beautiful garden, the King explained why he had called them there and gave them orders. When he was done, he invited them to take a look around the garden. They were soon called over to a glistening pond by an angelic being.
“I see you just got done talking to the Big Guy,” the angel of the pond said. “His plans for this place sure are interesting, I guess. If you want to make sure you can pull it off, take a drink from this pond and increase your wisdom.”
My players looked at each other with confusion. What was the catch here? You don’t just increase your stats by drinking water. Together they discussed what made the most sense. “Could anything really be wrong here? This place is paradise,” one of them said. He was first to take the drink. Everyone flinched, afraid it was a trick.
“Add 3 to your wisdom score,” I said. The others looked around in amazement and waited for side effects. Seeing none, they all slowly but surely came forward and increased their wisdom score.
When the last one was done, the angel of the pond smirked. “Thank you friends. You have now handed this world over to me.” Everything turned to desolation as the earth shook and the most central part of the garden broke off and flew into the sky.
“You all lose 6 wisdom,” I declared.
There are moments in D&D where you can feel the weight of the story. This was one of those moments. My players recognized they had just relived the story of the Garden of Eden with their own decisions. They understood Adam and Eve a little better now.
Out of all of our ministerial endeavors at 1208 Greenwood Church, Nerd Church is the most focused on speaking to culture. What to others may just be a game, book or movie, is to us a stepping stone for a spiritual conversation. When Paul preached the gospel to the Greek philosophers of Athens, he didn’t preach the same way that he did in the Jewish synagogues. Instead of quoting a ton of Scripture, he used a hefty amount of logic, quoted Greek poets, and pointed to one of their idols and said, “let me explain to you who that unknown God is.” He then began to tell them about Jesus.
The church often lives and speaks as though it belongs in the ancient world. But to evangelize and teach well, we need to enter our cultural context, learn the language, and then bring the Gospel into it.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Acts 17:16-34 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net.