I don’t think anyone would deny that telling stories is part of our culture. Look at all of the festivals around the country that celebrate the art of storytelling – not to mention the informal art that has grown up around the culture of things like fishing, hunting, and Monday morning pastor’s conferences. Everything from the big one that got away to the number of people we preached to on Sunday morning seems to be fair game when it comes to the subject of the stories we love to tell. But I think that it is more than just a cultural development. I believe that storytelling is part of our DNA. It may even be a part of what it means to have been created in the image of God. I say that because when I read the Bible, I see God as the Master Storyteller, and we have been given the great privilege and responsibility or retelling the greatest stories ever told.
Let me give you a primary example – the story of creation. I know that the scientists among us all love to talk about how following the Big Bang (is that still their favorite flavor of the month theory?) it took billions of years of evolution for the universe to get to where it is today. First, let me say how FALSE that is, and second, let me tell you, story-wise, how boring it is. The scientific version is about as exciting as watching paint dry in ultra-slow motion. Now take the biblical version of creation and put it all together in 6 literal 24 hour days and you have TRUTH in the most exciting story you can imagine. Set it to music. Add the narration. And you have an award winning major motion picture.
Now, add the theology to the mix. Add the story of mankind’s entrance into paradise and his first failure to the mix – sin entered the world. Add the story of God’s redemption plan to the mix – a plan that was written long before His first creative Word was spoken. Add the story of the Promised One who would crush the head of the serpent but Whose heel would be bruised in the process. Suddenly, an amazing story becomes even more amazing – almost unbelievable. But to those who do believe, God does an amazing thing. He adopts them into His family. He makes them His sons and daughters. He promises them something better than even the Garden of Eden that you read about in the creation story. He promises them heaven where there is no serpent to tempt and failures will be no more. What a story! It’s God’s story, but it is the story that He offers to us.
For a more detailed telling of the story, see Genesis 1-3. I shared it a little differently in the message on January 15, 2017. You can find the audio version at this website or the video of our entire worship service at www.southsidebaptist.net — just click on the link in the middle of the page.