The Great Storyteller
But without a parable He did not speak to them.
Once upon a time. Those four words just might be among the most powerful in the entire world. Some of my earliest memories as a boy contain a variation on that potent phrase. Every evening before lights-out, my brother and I would sit expectantly as my parents or Grandparents read to us or told us of a time long ago filled with interesting people and the God who loved them. Those stories became a lens for how we looked at the great big world.
The undisputed greatest storyteller ever is Jesus of Nazareth. He knew we all carry inside us an innate love for stories, so that was the medium He consistently used to communicate His good news: Once upon a time there was a man who scattered “seed on the ground” (Mark 4:26).Once upon a time there was “a mustard seed” (v 31), and on and on. Mark’s gospel clearly indicates that Jesus used stories in His interactions with everyday people (v 34) as a way to help them see the world more clearly and understand more thoroughly the God who loved them.
That is wise to remember as we desire to share with others God’s good news of mercy and grace. The use of story is almost impossible to resist.
Lord Jesus, You are the Wonderful Counsellor and the Great and Mighty God. Give us creativity in the ways in which we share Your love with a world that still slows down to hear a story. Amen.