During Lent at St. A’s, we have been working our way through the story of Jesus. It is – as I said on Sunday – both simple and complex. Simple in the sense that we know this story, we know where to go to find it and the events are familiar to us (though, hopefully, we are able to approach them with fresh eyes each time). And yet, it is complex because the story is big – bigger than any other story we tell. There is so much to say and to understand about it. One can spend their whole life studying it and not arrive at the moment of being done with that task.
This series and the release of some Biblically based movies (both Son of God, and Noah – though some would argue that Noah is more midrash or Kaballah based than Biblically based) , have had me thinking a lot about story recently. Then I spent this evening listening to Stuart MacLean (of Vinyl Cafe fame), tell stories on stage at Brampton’s Rose Theatre.
The idea of story – its purpose, its execution, its attractiveness – is one I’m not able to escape from these days. And to be fair – I wouldn’t want to, even if I could. I have always loved stories. From the time my parents read Arch Books to my brother and I when we were very young. When we got a little older, our Dad would read us novels a chapter at a time before bed (that’s how I first encountered The Lord of the Rings and Narnia). When we grew even older, Mom and Dad encouraged my brother and I to read by allowing us to earn money for the books we read (the rate was $1 for every hundred pages…that was the summer my brother discovered Peirs Anthony’s Xanth series. There were, at the time, about 18 novels in the series and they were all 300 pages plus. Mom only did that for one summer. 🙂 ).
Story has always been incredibly important to our family. Dad and I were both English Majors before we were Seminary students.
So approaching the Bible as a story comes quite naturally to me. This story is about what it means to be human and what it means to be divine. It’s about life, and how to live it well. It’s about some things that happened a very long time ago, but still influence events today. And it’s about the fact that God’s story hasn’t ended. It contours to be written through us – those who love God and seek to live in ways that honour God.
During Lent, may you hear anew the life changing story of God’s love for humanity. May you hear the details you already know in ways that surprise and excite you. May you know that God’s story is also our story. May you find that God is writing something beautiful through your life as the story continues.
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Philippians 2:13 NLT