“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
2 Peter 1:16
The scriptures say that faith comes by hearing. That was never truer than in the days before the written canon existed. It is still true today though the story may be read as often as it is heard. The point I wish to stress is that the gospel is a story. As Peter said, that doesn’t mean that the story is false or made up from the writer’s imagination.
What it does mean is that the surest approach to the gospel is as a story. Rather than dissect it, outline it, or hunt for hidden subplots and meanings—step inside. See the story; live the story.
Christians speak about studying the Bible and they should engage in thinking about what it says and its application to their situation. Contemplation and meditation are sound Christian disciples to be neglected at their own peril.
Christianity, is more than reading, praying, and studying. It is first and foremost to be lived—to enter physically, mentally and emotionally into the very life and story of Christ as a participant. C.S. Lewis described this as the practice of enjoyment or joy. Christianity is to be enjoyed.
It is difficult to see this from outside, just as it is hard to enjoy a story by looking at the cover of the book or reading reviews. I have yet to understand how some young people get excited about watching others play video games even though an entire industry has sprung up around the practice.
Watching Christians live the story is disappointing. Since no one plays it perfectly or even in the same manner we might think they should. The story can only be understood and appreciated from within. The “fable” was written by those living it for those who would like to join in living it.
The good news of the scripture is life and living the ongoing story of Christ.