Our third rhythm of GRACE is Ask Questions and Tell Stories. We are called to be a people who use empathy and curiosity to deepen relationships. We want to live together in a way that declares and demonstrates the good news of God’s transforming love to everyone around us.
At our Leaders Day last Saturday some of us got to think about how we share our story. We’ll come back to that soon; for now I want to encourage you to immerse yourself in God’s Story.
I keep hearing and reading in all sorts of places about how humans are storied beings: we make sense of our lives and relationships by telling stories about them. Our brains process all the conflicting inputs and experiences while we sleep by weaving stories in our dreams, our culture plays back to us our hopes, fears and desires in books, television screens and devices. There are set patterns and themes that come up again and again in our myths, fairy tales and narratives.
Our claim, as people of God, is that there is one story beyond all others. One tale that grounds reality and gives our lives meaning. It starts in the garden of Eden and ends in the city of the new creation. Its hero is Jesus. To learn how to ask questions and tell stories well starts with immersing ourselves in that story.
Where and when do you get to encounter God’s story? How do you get to share this with others?
When we gather in our communities to study the bible together, when we listen to and preach on the bible at our gatherings. When we read our bibles on our own we are exposing ourselves to this story, asking questions of it and allowing it to shape us.
As a family we’ve picked up a copy of Steve and Bekah Legg’s devotional Life Together. We try to read it together at breakfast – in our busy morning it gives us a chance to connect with God’s story together for a few minutes. Are there ways that you and your household can do something similar? There are all sorts of other devotionals and reading plans that are useful to use; what have you found that is useful?
I’ve found that getting the Bible onto my phone and computer in as many ways as possible helps me stay immersed in God’s story. Here are some of my favourite apps.
The YouVersion Bible app – has been going for a few years and enables you to access a number of translations and follow reading plans. There is also a social function so you can highlight, make notes and share what you are reading with friends.
Dwell and Streetlights are 2 projects I love that are combining music and scripture. Dwell features 4 voices reading the ESV version of the Bible. Streetlights features a range of US based rappers reading the New Living Translation. I’ve found it really helpful to use both, to listen to as well as read scripture.
The Bible Project is one of my favourite things. They make excellent, short videos that explore books and themes in the Bible.
How do you immerse yourself in God’s story?
How do you let God’s word fill you?