Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?
I just began reading The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, and I must say whether you have children or not, go buy this book. It’s all so simple really, this gospel story. So simple that an adult can fall in love with God through a child’s fairy-tale. And Sally helps me remember that if it is anything, it is a story first and foremost.
“It’s like an adventure story about a young Hero who came from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne, everything to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that have come true in real life.
You see, the best thing about this story is-it’s true.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this story. And at the center of the Story there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece in a puzzle-the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
And this is no ordinary baby. This is the Child upon whom everything would depend. This is the baby that would one day-but wait, our story starts where all good stories start. Right at the very beginning…”
I first heard of the book at Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God concert. Peterson, too, is a writer captured by the power of living in a meta-narrative. The entire album focuses on telling the story up to the climax. As I listened to the music and his commentary on The Jesus Storybook Bible, I pondered our Christian culture’s embrace of story. It seems to be catching on, though I fear the reception of masses will only dilute it as it becomes a fad. I remind myself that it’s nothing new. In her introduction, Sally Lloyd-Jones borrows Chesterton’s line, “I always felt life first as a story; and if there is a story, there is a storyteller”. Stories are not going anywhere; they will live as long as people. Whether or not the literature, songs, and blogs continue to embrace the vehicle of story to experience the gospel, it doesn’t really matter. God will still be at work, writing, inviting us to be with Him.
For now, may your childlike heart be invited into the Fairy-Tale.