Hello friends . . . grace and peace,
Everyone has heard lots of stories but, what makes a good story? What are the essential parts of a story that keep us interested and wanting to hear more? According to Donald Miller, a good story requrires 4 things:
1) Lead Character
A good Lead Character is essential. But what makes that lead character interesting? They have to have an Ambition, they have to want something. And it has to be something we WANT them to have otherwise we don’t care if they get it or not. Plus, in order for it to be a story that keeps us interested there has to be Conflict. A story doesn’t make sense without conflict because there are no perfect stories. Finally, there needs to be Resolution. Perhaps the story ends well (comedy) or not so well (tragedy) but there must be some sort of Resolution.
Sharing our stories with others is powerful. It’s how we connect with others on deep levels. Think about it, the more you know about a person, the more of their story you know, the better you know them. It’s hard to be close to someone and not learn about who they are through hearing their story.
One of my favorite characteristics of God is that God didn’t make the world and then leave the story. God stays and plays a part in the story of everything and everyone in the world. In our scriptures there’s this big group of people and the bible keeps following different people in that group and telling their stories. Over and over again things go wrong. And over and over again the people wonder where God is. Many of them feel like God is absent and they cry out. But something starts to happen. The poets and prophets and preachers start to talk and write about something that they feel is going to happen in the future. They start to write and talk and tell of a day coming when they won’t feel like God is absent but actually God is Hyper-Present.
One of the main writers uses a Hebrew word to describe it: Immanuel. “Im” means “with”. “Manu” means “us”. “El” means “God”. Immanuel means “With us (is) God” or “God With Us”. One of the central themes running through God’s Story is the notion that God Is With Us. The story DOESN’T emphasize that we are with God. It’s actually the other way around. God is with us.
As we move through this Advent Season and prepare for the annual celebration of God putting on flesh and quite literally being with us, we pray that you will take every opportunity to be a part of this
community to continue your
practice of seeing the Presence
of God with You.
peace to you