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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Power of Story

I was driving home from my Sociology final (yay!) when "Africa" by Toto came on the radio. This is hands down one of my favorite songs. I love hearing about "Kilamanjaro rising above the Serengeti." As I listened, it made me think of how a story can put so much impact on our lives. In his book Epic, John Eldredge reminds us that "story is the very nature of reality." The reason we are enraptured by a great story like The Lord of the Rings or Pride and Prejudice is that we can easily relate to the characters. I'm not saying that all men are destined to be king as Aragorn, but we can relate to his struggle with overcoming what he sees as his shortcomings to embrace his destiny. Not all women are as stubborn as Elizabeth, but all women want to be swept away by true love. Another reason stories speak to us is stories have the ability to take the profound, and make it easy to understand. If anyone understood this, it was Jesus in his time on earth. the Jewish people of that time were wanting to see the Kingdom of God. But what does such a kingdom look like? How many times did Jesus say, "The Kingdom of God is like..." When addressing the Pharisees, he would use an analogy, ususally of vipers and tombs. When expressing how God reacts to a redeemed sinner, he tells one of the most famous of his parables, of a prodigal son, and a Father who sprints to embrace him. Stories are able to do that. They take head knowledge, and make it heart reality.

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