In our world of entertainment, our brains are often fried and our minds left in a mess. It seems that this microwave society in which we live is filled with A.D.D and stress beyond control. Our attention spans are very limited. Even the best adult-education principles are beginning to lose their merit (one ten-minute break for every fifty minutes of instruction).
So what are we to do? I am challenged about stories. We need quality stories and storytellers to engage us on certain key ideas and lessons in life and beyond. Our imaginations are able to reminisce about stories with which we have been engaged and our memories are seared with these. They shape who we have become and who we will become. So what gives?
“The most obvious example is the best-known story of all. No matter how well we know the gospel, we can find new perspectives: Aslan dying for Edmund, Jean Valjean’s encounter with grace in Les Miserables, or Harry Potter taking the killing curse upon himself before the resurrection stone brings him back to life. But the best examples of fresh reads on the gospel come not from fiction but from Scripture itself.” (Andrew Wilson, Christianity Today, 20 October 2017)
Why do we sweep through the story of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas? I contend that it is a lack of communication in a communication and media-filled world. We post memes and curt reactions on Facebook and tweet moment by moment thoughts. We Snapchat so that there is no record of communication. We blog posts that are rarely fully read. Perhaps the photos on Instagram give us some semblance of story memories.
But have you ever really looked at what the communication highway has for us? Not much. For example, let’s look at Facebook. I see constant posts of people airing dirty laundry and responses that are awful. Likes, sad faces, and false promises of “prayers going up” and “positive thoughts” (whatever that is all about), saturate the interaction we have. I can easily digress …
So what of the story of this child born in Nazareth all those years ago? We know the gist of the story. But have we made it – for real in our lives – the greatest story ever told? Are we as excited about this story as any of the “classics?”
Our challenge this Christmas season is to dig into the best of the best story ever. Read. Study. Pray. Imagine. Feel burdened for the lost. In this way, we will live into the living Savior of the world in Jesus Christ. After all, he is worth it, isn’t he?
CJ Caufield has served as the camp caretaker of Delanco and dean amongst numerous other roles. He currently lives in Mississippi where he serves as a United Methodist Pastor as well as President of the Mississippi Crisis Response Network.