Jesus was a great
story-teller. If you think about it, He had to be. He had to attract peoples
attention and hold it long enough to get His message across.
Not that most people got it the first time around. In a way thats the beauty of Jesus stories - you think youve got the message - and then, quite unexpectedly, you see something different in it.
Its one good reason for hearing them over and over again - and I did! What was surprising was that I always heard something that I hadnt heard before. I suppose I was a different person each time. Maybe I was in a different mood - or something had happened that made things look different - all sorts of things meant that I was almost hearing it for the first time.
Most of Jesus stories were easy to remember. He knew about everyday life, you see. He knew about family squabbles - and travelling on dangerous roads - and building towers....and He just had a way of telling a story about them that made you think about life in a new way.
Sometimes it was as if He got into your head - or your heart. Like the Older Brother in the story of the Prodigal Son - I swear there was a twinkle in His eye as He told me that one!
But then - He used the idea of blending yeast into the flour to make the bread rise as an image of how the Kingdom works...quietly and invisibly in some ways - but sometimes taking a lot of kneading too!
The Gospels are full of little incidents like that.
It can pay to sit and just read one of the Gospels a bit at a time like a story - to get the full flavour of it. Youll be surprised by how much of it you already know. Youll probably also be surprised by some of the things you read - and wonder how you ever missed them before!Or - you could choose on story - or incident - and live with that for a few days. Read it through - and then, when you have a spare couple of minutes, bring it to mind and "chew on it" - and see if anything new comes to mind. remember - even after a day - youre not the same person as you were the day before.
Drinking from the WellspringIn his book, "The Foolishness of God", the former Bishop of Salisbury John Austin Baker says, "Before we can hope to sip the Bible like wine, we need to drink it like beer"* So:
"Drinking the Bible like beer..."
Set aside a few minutes each day and read a chapter or so of the Bible at a time.
It would probably help if you are a newcomer to this to start with a Gospel.
(And if a cup-of-tea or coffee helps - have one!)
"...and sipping it like wine..."
If you decide to play with just one story or incident, you might like to try the Sunday Gospel as a starting point - or browse through your Bible and see if a Gospel story catches your eye.
Simply read it through and then call it to mind at odd moments during the week - in a traffic jam - a supermarket queue - waiting at a bus-stop -
See what happens...
*The Foolishness of God", published by Darton Longman & Todd (UK), 1970
© 1999 Wellspring