Tuesday, December 14, 2010

THE Story

The Christmas story (not the movie, but the real account of Jesus’ birth) is quite a tale. Think about hearing it for the first time, as did the Herdman kids in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Who could come up with such a story? But the nativity alone is incomplete. It is only a part (albeit an important part) of the greater narrative that starts before time itself.

History is going somewhere. Evidence for this abounds. Other stories lend evidence of this in the way they resemble “the grand original story” of God. Through the centuries many have recognized that human myths, literature, movies, and other expressions of narrative, both secular and religious, are mere reflections of God’s story. “Even Pagan stories,” J.R.R. Tolkien (famed writer of Lord of the Rings) said, “are God expressing Himself through the minds of poets, using such images as He found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through...real things" He believed that history truly is “His-story,” the literal Meta-narrative that God is telling. According to Tolkien, “We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God.”

If you want some resources to explore this idea further, let me offer a few:

Epic by John Eldridge. This little book is awesome. You can read it in an hour or two and you will not be sorry. In it you will see that you have a key role in this story God is writing.

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones Don’t miss this opportunity to walk through the Bible with your kids in a way that shows God's master plan for all creation. The artwork is excellent, and the way God’s story is told is incredible. I wish this book would have been around when my kids were small!

Tolkien: Man or Myth by Joseph Pearce. This is for you who love all things Tolkien. Pearce unveils Tolkien’s core convictions and the world in which he lived in order to help us understand what ideas might really be behind his great stories.

Pick a good movie. So many...Robin Hood (2010 with Russell Crowe), Avatar, King Arthur, The Matrix, Gladiator, Harry Potter, Braveheart, The Lion King, Star Wars...et. al. This Christmas break, take a night or two, make some popcorn and watch a good movie (age appropriate) and then TALK to your kids about how it reflects THE Story. So many of these movies are our day’s “myths” that reflect ideas from THE Meta-narrative, THE Story God has written, and is still revealing around us as history unfolds.

And the whole thing hinges on a baby.


Susan Tucker said...

G.K. Chesterton and Frederick Buechner also wrote about this idea of the "Larger Story." In his book Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale, Buechner writes: "[The Gospel] is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where the battle goes ultimately to the good, who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name...That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept happening ever since and is happening still."

Rebecca said...

We LOVE the Jesus Storybook Bible in our home. Such an incredible picture of the gospel throughout scripture. It has been an invaluable resource for them (and us!!) Merry Christmas, cousin!