Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reflection: Reading the Bible as stories

I wrote this recently, "When we read the Bible as stories - God's stories - we stop treating it as a set of rules or prooftexts, or treating God as a genie for our benefits. As we enter the stories in the Bible, we feel the pain and suffering of the characters, feel the wonders of God's deliverance, identify with God's people as they struggle and falter, and experience the amazing grace of God in all our failures and shortcomings. And as we enter those stories and allow the Holy Spirit to touch us, we enter into worship just as the ancients did - and by the empowerment of the same Spirit, we enter into the world to make those stories known through our lives and deeds."

Then I received a note from a missionary friend, Sarah, in Cambodia, which said, "Enjoying the privilige of leading a family to know God simply by telling the stories of the Bible chronologically. I was so thrilled to find yesterday that they have figured out how to talk to God just from hearing the stories."

Sarah has been using story-telling as a way of proclaiming the gospel. This is her response to what I wrote, "It is stories that shape our worldview and worldview that shapes our beliefs and values, which lead to our behaviour. God knew what he was doing when he set so much of his Word in narrative form."

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