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Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Faith | 0 comments

Narrating God

Narrating God

I love a good story! Who doesn’t? We are wired for narrative (story). As a child I enjoyed sitting around campfires or hanging out with siblings and sharing stories that would captivate my attention. Furthermore, I am an avid reader. As a young person my mother introduced me to the power of a good written narrative. I entered into many a land and experience vicariously through the fancy of authors who narrated with pen and paper tales of sadness, loss, bravado, and victory.

We humans are drawn to stories of triumph out of tragedy, of gain from loss, of beauty from ashes. This is OUR story as human beings. We recognize the familiar lines when they appear in a narrative’s development. Humans strive for more and for better stretching out into the great unknown but hoped for future. We want our story to have a good ending.

But how does one go about narrating the story of God? Who has a frame of reference informed enough to tell His story?

The Gospel of John begins with the following familiar verse:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, HCSB)

So then, the beginning of God’s story starts with the Word. We see that John’s recounting of the story of God to humans begins with the person of Jesus Christ. John makes is clear that Jesus is divine.

But that’s not all, as verse 14 makes clear:

The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, HCSB)

The story continues with a twist – Jesus is not only divine; He is also human. The story of God begins with the divine Word who takes on flesh and becomes the God-man. John gives us a bit more insight into God’s story by leading us to the ultimate narrator – to the One eminently qualified to tell the story of God. John writes:

No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son — the One who is at the Father’s side — He has revealed Him.” (John 1:18, HCSB)

Who is the greatest narrator of God’s story? The Son of God Himself, the Word made flesh. The rest of this fourth Gospel then unfolds the story of God as narrated by Jesus’ life (ministry, miracles, and teachings), as narrated by His atoning death, and His glorious resurrection. What is the story of God? It’s best heard through the narration of Jesus. As a matter of fact, the term translated “revealed” in verse 18 above, could be translated “narrated”. If you want to know God’s story look to Jesus.

The problem is a lot of people, including many of the 11,593[1] kids in the custody of the foster system in the state of Oklahoma don’t really know the story of Jesus. If they don’t know the story of Jesus they don’t know God’s story of grace that will set them free and that will be a healing balm to their wounded souls. Who will tell them?

Maybe we should take some story-telling tips from Jesus. He showed compassion as evidenced by tangible acts of mercy (not simply, “I feel badly for you,” emotional sympathy). And in showing mercy He did not forsake His mission. For Jesus, the narrating of the story of God included showing the compassion of God as well as conveying the mission of God. These two are friends.

How does God want to use you to tell the story of Jesus to a hurting child? Perhaps you cannot foster or adopt. No worries. Not everyone can. But can you pray for families that are? Can you bring a dinner to someone who is caring for children in their home? Can you sponsor an orphaned or marginalized child in a developing country? How about exploring a new option for the Oklahoma City area, Safe Families[2]? This is an opportunities for local churches and host families to care for some of the most fractured families in our local communities. One very unique way to help others tell the story of Jesus is by coming to “The Gift Goes On”[3] shopping bazaar held at the Cube of Council Road Baptist Church on Tuesday night, November 11 from 6-9 p.m. This event has raised nearly $50,000 in the last two years for the Karis Adoption Fund[4]. The Karis fund helps Christian families in Oklahoma who are needing help with adoption funding.

For more information on ways your church or you personally can begin to tell the story of Jesus to hurting children please contact me at 405.503.4092, or, jhunt@councilroad.org.

 

[1] Accurate as of October 19, 2014

[2] www.safefamiliesok.org/

[3] www.facebook.com/pages/The-Gift-Goes-On/181977351989745

[4] www.karisadoptionfund.org

About The Author

James Hunt
James Hunt

James serves as the Senior Pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Guthrie, OK. He loves serving Jesus by serving God's people. He also enjoys spending time with his wife of over 20 years as well as his four children. You'll find him just as comfortable in the office deep in thought as he is at a rodeo. He likes boots, jeans, and state park trips with the family. His dream car is actually a 1968 truck. His favorite bicycle is one with a big motor. Of course, he has neither a motorcycle nor an old truck. But a guy can dream, right?

James Hunt has blogged 53 posts at wordslingersok.com

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