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.
I regularly post creative pieces which help folks connect with the Bible in a contemporary and down-to-earth way. Please feel free to make use of them if they inspire you. I also post daily short thoughts on Twitter and have produced a variety of books, most of which draw on the Bible.