Monday, January 7, 2008

The Year of Living Biblically

I volunteered to teach a Sunday school class on a book called The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possibleby A.J. Jacobs. It's a lighthearted account of one man's quest to abide by all the rules he finds in the Bible. Being a non-practicing Jew, he definitely leans toward the Old Testament side of things, but eventually incorporates New Testament ideas into his year-long quest. While I didn't find it quite as funny as I'd hoped and lacking any kind of epiphanies about how these rules can apply to us, it was still a fun book to read and we'll see how it goes teaching a class on it. I'm frankly skeptical that I can stretch the material out over 9 weeks, but we'll see. I'm hoping to use it as a springboard to discuss and contemplate how the rules laid out in the Bible can perhaps still be useful in bringing us closer to God.

One of the pastors at church, when I mentioned the title and class to her, immediately shot back, "So, are you going to grow out your beard?" It hadn't even occurred to me to do this. Later, she made an announcement to her class that new classes were starting soon and that I was teaching one and that I'd be growing a beard. So, feeling the pressure, I thought, what the heck. I'll grow out my beard. I haven't done it before, so it'll be interesting to see what it looks like. The closest I ever came was growing a mustache to play young Einstein in Picasso at the Lapin Agile back in 1999.

So I figured I'd better document the beard. And here it is. The beard. Day two.

Underwhelming, I know.

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