Captain Kidd is an unusual news journalist. An ex-soldier he now travels the far flung towns and communities of post-civil-war America telling recent news stories to those who have not yet heard them. He is a great story-teller and people give well to hear his reports of the serious and the strange and the unexpected. He holds his audience in the palm of his hand as he draws them in to hear what is going on beyond the borders of their own small worlds. I wonder whether storytelling of this sort is a bit of a lost art, in an age when CGI and TV on-demand can provide us with anything, we may have forgotten how powerful it can be when one person holds a live audience captive as they tell their gripping yarns. Jesus came from a culture of this kind of ‘journalism’. He was a herald for the kingdom of God, a kingdom which many had been misled about. He had come to open their eyes to the reality of this other dimension, which was accessible to all and closer than breathing. And so he told his thrilling tales of gangs abducting messengers, employees playing fast and loose with the boss’s money, and sons running away to live the high life. These were no dull sermons, not at all, these were tales of the unexpected, twisting and turning before the wide-eyes of each expectant crowd. You didn’t need wi-fi or a satellite dish or a widescreen telly. You just had to pause, lean in a little and let the stories grip your imagination. And unlike our fast-flowing torrent of modern entertainment, these tales stayed with you, you could retell them to others, and their impact might well be so huge you would never be the same again. This really was news of the world and I guess news for the world too. If you’ve not discovered them you could do worse than take a few moments to jump into the fast-paced Mark’s gospel (or blog) in the world’s number one bestseller, The Bible.
Film Friday Reflection: News of the World
Fri 26 February 2021
Excellent blog Dave. You are so right in pointing out the power of storytelling. I would add how important it is to use stories to help Christians discern secular and pagan worldviews. The Bible gives us a huge amount of information and insight into the Baal mindset. This pagan view is dissected in 2 Kings 23. The tragedy of prostitutes plying their tade in the temple and women weaving superstitiously for Asherah. Good stories can help us to be discerning about the false mindsets that besiege us on a daily basis. These false worldviews (consumerism, paganism etc) can captivate our lives and imaginations. Thanks Dave for your great blog!