And it came to pass…
It’s occurred to me recently that many of us tend to treat the Bible like it’s Pinterest. We look to it for some good ideas or when we’re in a bind. Like when we need wisdom on how to deal with our tempers, or what to do with our kids’ attitudes, or how to motivate our spouses to pick up the dang socks off the floor already. (no that’s not directed to my husband. I’m just saying.)
Anywaaayzzz… the Bible isn’t the original social media. It isn’t the YouTube video that is incredibly helpful on how to separate egg yolks or braid hair. We aren’t reading it like we’re supposed to, because we are usually picking and choosing, like a recipe book. I mean what if you sat down and read a recipe book cover to cover? I don’t know. I won’t ever know. Point is it will probably be partially helpful, you might find out some things, and you might be encouraged to cook more. Or order pizza.
I’ve seen on Facebook a “What Bible verse will guide you through 2017” quiz. It makes me cringe. It’s kind of like when people ask me what is my favorite food, or even type of food. I picture every plate I have ever had in front of me and think about 10% of them were awful. So, my favorite verse(s)? How about the one from Genesis 1:11 – Revelation 22:21? That’s a good one.
I think it’s partially because our culture has shifted away from story. My husband and I love to talk about story. In fact, when we met, he told me his first question to ask any one he meets is “What’s your story?” It’s a fun question. It takes some people off guard. Recently, a cousin of mine was asked this and he said that he had never been asked that before. He’s in his 50s, um maybe 60s, and I found that a darn shame. People should be asked to tell their stories so much more than we are.
What does it mean to have a story? We love the general trend that happened in our lifetime. It has been a shift in the way we think of characters in movies, even common stories that we all know and love. It is something like the fairy tales we grew up with grew up too. We don’t have the Disney-esque versions, but are returned to the Grimm Brothers’ version, which is certainly evidence that they were living up to their family name. We realize that characters aren’t one-sided and simplistic, that every person has a back story, and that their story changes everything.
To me, this is what those who believe in Jesus must be doing, getting to know Jesus’ back story, if you will. How can we begin to understand what it means to follow someone we don’t know? And what does it mean to trust someone you don’t know? Can you even do that? The beauty of the Gospel is that as we get to know more, we grow more, we understand more, we love more, we trust more. It will deepen.
And it will be scary. I travelled roads that made me see more of God and it frightened me. I’ve read more of God’s story and it was horrifying. Put off by violence on TV and movies? Don’t read the Bible. some of it is absolutely repulsive. Why is it there? What’s the purpose? Spoilers!!! God wins. As depraved and terrifying the world gets, His grace is more than enough to conquer. But a good story always has twists and turns. It has characters well developed and relatable. It has a Hero. And it has the kind of ending that makes you want to be there for it. And you can be, if you know how the story goes… but you have to know the whole thing or you’ll miss the way to get there…