One of the reasons I teach literature is because I love that profound ‘knowing’ that comes when I read stories that resonate deep within, and remind me that my experiences have been known by others – that we are connected, deeply, across time and place and culture.
The Bible does all this and more. It tells us about God’s unfathomable love for us: active, initiating love which was willing to pay the highest price to reconcile us to Himself, cleanse us of our sin and give us His Spirit of Holiness. And there are stories within that story, which are profound and resonate and connect us across time, place and culture.
I love the story of Joseph – thrown into a filthy prison, forgotten by the world before we discover God works all for good and elevates him to high position, restoring all he’d lost and more.
I love the story of the fall of Jericho, when the Commander of the Army of the Lord stands before Joshua and tells him to march the Israelites around the fortified city; how the walls crumble when God’s spiritual and earthly armies unite in the seen and unseen realms.
I love the story of David – all of it – that wonderful, reckless, devoted, flawed man who pours out his heart to God in despair, and hope, and joy, and marvellous intimacy.
I love the story of Jesus, asking who has touched him when the woman who has bled for twelve years dares to believe she can be freed, healed, just by touching His cloak – and His beautiful gentleness when she confesses.
There are so many stories, all wrapped up in the whole glorious story of a God who could not let us go, could not leave us on our own, could not turn His back on us. He loves us: desperately, totally, undeniably.
“My Lord, what love is this – that pays so dearly?
That I, the guilty one, may go free?
Amazing Love! Oh what sacrifice:
The Son of God, given for ME.
MY debt He paid, and MY death He died,
That I might live. That I might live.”
That’s a love worth knowing. That’s a God worth following. That’s a story worth reading.