Everyone loves a good story
Summer is almost here, and the holiday season is just around the corner. Do you have any holiday traditions? Is there anything that you do every year because it just wouldn’t be a holiday if you didn’t?
One of those traditions for me is reading books, particularly fiction books. I remember each year as a child going to the library with my parents and my sister the weekend before our Summer holiday. We would each choose 6 books and then make sure we spent time reading them while we were away. We loved the stories and sharing the good books with each other.
It’s a tradition that’s stuck as I still read a lot when I go away, although nowadays a Kindle makes packing so much easier. I’m not the only one who likes stories. In 2016, £525 million was spent on fiction books and £894 million was spent on DVD’s and blu-ray discs across the UK. In the same year £1.3 billion was spent on cinema tickets and a further £1.3 billion on streaming and downloading digital video.
Why do we spend so much? It seems to me that the answer is essentially that everybody, or almost everybody, loves a good story. We love the journey that a book, film or drama takes us on. We love meeting the characters, the twists and turns of the plot line and the resolution of the ending. And, because we love it we are willing to part with our money to immerse ourselves in the experience.
The best stories don’t just have interesting characters, unexpected turns and satisfying endings, they also make us think more deeply about life. That’s one of the reasons I love Tolkien’s classic, The Lord of the Rings. It is filled with imagination, twists and turns, but it also makes you think about the nature and danger of evil as well as the big contribution that ‘little’ people make to life.
One of the things that Jesus is known for was his ability to tell stories, called parables, that made you think about life and particularly about God. He was a master at taking things from every day experience and then weaving them into a great story that he would use to teach and to challenge. Some of them were very short, others were longer, but all of them make you stop and consider.
In June we are going to be having some special services on Sunday mornings and in each service we will be looking at one of the stories that Jesus told. We’re be looking at what they mean and what they teach. If you want to know a bit more about what Jesus said about God and about life then why not come along. These would be a great introduction to what Christians believe and what the Bible teaches.