Dream word – CONSIDER
1 Thessalonians 1:8
“For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.” KJV
The best of evangelism and not the beast
Brian Andreas is the inventor of “Story People.” These story people are mixed media objects which he makes using salvaged wood, and in turn have written upon them, a very short and declarative story which muses on both moment and memory. I collect his stuff and frankly, I think the man is a genius, for he has the capacity to pour the gathered effulgence of a very large story, into very small genies bottle, the size of which never exceeds one or two sentences.
After Andreas moved to Californian he was asked in an interview how he felt about the move there? His reply was most telling on a number of levels. He actually said, “I think the best way to answer this is with a story: when I was growing up in Chicago, we went to a church that had missionaries who'd come back once a year from Fiji and give talks. I remember one of them saying it was very hard work telling people they were going to lose their everlasting souls if they didn't shape up. I pictured people sitting on the beach listening to this sweaty man all dressed in black telling them they were going to burn in hell and them thinking this was good fun, these scary stories this guy was telling them and afterwards, they'd all go home and eat mango and fish and they'd play Monopoly and laugh and laugh and they'd go to bed and wake up the next day and do it all again. I feel like one of the people on the beach who actually believed the guy in black for awhile, but now I've had mango and fish and I'm back to feeling the sun on my face and the warm wind on my skin and tonight I'm going to go to sleep and tomorrow I'm going to wake up and do it all again. It feels like I'm home.” It says a lot doesn’t it?
Yesterday I listened to a Christian gastronome in his mid seventies, who was giving his views on the Christian’s approach to the pleasure which is eating! He said that “He believed in all Christian’s enjoying great sex, great music, and great food.” In other words, he believed in Christian hedonism, that is, the full enjoyment of pleasure for the glory of God. I like that. Who wouldn’t? Life is a relationship and when we thoroughly engage in relationship through these often sacramental activities of sex, music, and food, then life is experienced, met with, tasted, touched, tumbled about and trembled over. In other words, through relationship engaged enjoyment, we participate in story. When we do that, we are in “real life,” and it is there where we find God and His story.
Jesus! Look at Him. See Him eating and drinking, laughing and loving, weeping and wailing. Yes in each and every way, The Way Himself engages life in real relationship and in so doing, engages life in all its fullness, thereby revealing Himself as life in all His fullness. Jesus not only communicated the Gospel with stories but engaged in other peoples stories, thus revealing Himself to be that greater story of which they are part and parcel! Indeed, we are all story people. We are all people with a story. Living the realities of our Christian story well, will invite others to participate in the Way in which we live and the direction in which we travel. I tell you the truth, there is no more authentic means of evangelism than this, for story people telling stories, is the best of Evangelism and not the beast.
Listen: “There is another reason for the appropriateness of story as a major means of bringing us God’s Word. Story just doesn’t tell us something and leave it there, it invites our participation. A good story teller gathers us into the story. We feel the emotions, get caught up in the drama, identify with the characters, see the nooks and crannies of life that we had overlooked, realise that there is more to this business of being human than we had yet explored. If the story teller is good, doors and windows open.” (Peterson -Eat This Book)
Pray: Father, thank you that Your story is not for the escapist but rather for the indulgent. Indulge me then O Lord, in Jesus name I ask it, amen!
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