Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent Reflections on the Ultimate Story (Part 3)

(Part 2)

3. Play your Role; Be the Story

We are partners with God in the story of the Gospel. We have been commanded to share the story. We are storytellers by calling. It is something we are empowered to do; or at the very least we have access to a power that will help us. However, as with any task we have been given—and hopefully desire to do well—we should work at doing it better. We want to improve our efforts. We want to make an impact.

Too often we have been made to think of the Gospel as a sales pitch rather than a story. We have turned the most inspiring story ever told into a list of bullet points and removed all the drama, the humanity, the art. If we have any ability to communicate at all, we don’t approach any other conversation that way. We adjust our stories for the audience. We tell them in a way that will connect. When we want people to love or identify with a story, we tell it right.

Imagine if some of the greatest works of literature were communicated the way that we communicate the Gospel.

Hamlet: A moody man tries to avenge his father’s death. Everyone dies.

Romeo and Juliet: Lovers from warring families end up killing themselves.

Lord of the Rings: A hobbit walks for a long time then throws a ring into a volcano.

Pride and Prejudice: A girl grows to love a guy she thinks was a jerk.

Sort of lose their punch, don’t they? Imagine if you had no knowledge of these works at all. You would fail to see why they were beloved. You would be missing too much information to even understand what those sentences meant in some cases. And yet we expect people with no or erroneous information of the Gospel to “get it” with a handful of plot points!

What’s worse is that the Gospel is so much more than just the story of Jesus’ sacrificial death. It is also the story of that sacrifice’s impact. We all have our own chapter in the Gospel story. We need to do Jesus’ part of the story justice when we tell it, but we also need to be sharing the part about our relationship with Jesus and how it impacts us daily. We need to tell the story. We need to be the story.

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