Monday, May 15, 2006

The Power of Story

I was reading in my Bible, (I am currently using the Message as translated by Eugene Petersen) and it struck me;
How important stories are. Especially in the culture in which I currently find myself.
Matthew 13:10-17 The Message (MSG)
Why Tell Stories?

10The disciples came up and asked, "Why do you tell stories?"
11He replied, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn't been given to them. 12Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. 13That's why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they're blue in the face and not get it. 14I don't want Isaiah's forecast repeated all over again:

Your ears are open but you don't hear a thing.
Your eyes are awake but you don't see a thing.
15The people are blockheads!
They stick their fingers in their ears
so they won't have to listen;
They screw their eyes shut
so they won't have to look,
so they won't have to deal with me face-to-face
and let me heal them.

16"But you have God-blessed eyes--eyes that see! And God-blessed ears--ears that hear! 17A lot of people, prophets and humble believers among them, would have given anything to see what you are seeing, to hear what you are hearing, but never had the chance.
Matthew 13:10-17 The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
The Message at Navpress NavPress

The passage made me think about stories like those written by JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, which have recently been made into movies. There are also many stories of smaller stature, that are less famous but no less important. And it made me think of many more "stories" in the form of artwork or songs.
In the light of this passage they become very significant tools and I think we need more of these kinds of tools in Japan.

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