Not Just a Story
"I am the Alpha and Omega," says The Lord God, "who is and was and is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:8)
Native people love a good story. Children who come to Vacation Bible School in the Alaskan villages often remember the stories from year to year. The teams prepare the stories for each day using props, costumes, crafts, games, and even snacks to help bring the story to life. But whichever stories are shared, the story of salvation through Jesus' death and resurrection is always included.
I have joined several different teams over the years. One Vacation Bible School was particularly memorable because it impressed on me the difference between how something is said by one individual and the way it is heard by another.
A few years ago, we were surrounded by a rapt audience of children between the ages of four and thirteen. After one of the volunteers finished what she had referred to as the Bible "story," one little guy of about five years old, who had listened intently, blurted out in amazement, "But that's just a story, right?!" That question made me rethink how we communicate God's Word.
We often use the word "story" loosely; sometimes to entertain, sometimes to teach a lesson, but not always to tell a truth. It made me realize how important it is to emphasize that the whole Bible, from the beginning to end, is the truth of God's love and saving grace through Jesus' sacrifice for us. It is about seeing ourselves in God's continuing story of rescued humanity, always knowing and believing that whatever twists and turns our life story takes, we have a God who knows and cares. It is about knowing our name is written in the Book of Life, and we have the promise of eternity with Jesus and our family of believers. It is knowing that Jesus is alive, and Jesus is real. It is knowing that the Word of God is the absolute story of truth.
Heavenly Father, as we wait for Jesus' return, guide us by the Holy Spirit to share your Word, in love and truth. In your Son's name, we pray. Amen.