I love to read. In fact, I often think in story. When Jesus speaks in parables (stories), I get it. Everyone likes a good story. When I read a good book, it is because it is a good story. Books are stories and good books have good stories!
“Tell me a story papa! Read to me!” My grandchildren would ask. My children and grandchildren loved to be read to. They particularly liked it when Nana or Papa would read to them. They enjoyed the story, because the one reading it to them loved them. And they also loved reading to them in return. Do you see how that works? They knew that by reading them a story, we were showing them how important they were to us.
The Bible (God’s Word) is sometimes referred to as “The Good Book”. Gospel means Good News. The Bible contains many stories: some entertaining, some scary and some hard to understand. God wants us to share the Bible stories. God wants us to know how important we are to God.
Sometimes the stories read at face value are not all that interesting. This is in part because we have heard them so many times before. Sometimes we don’t understand the setting or culture of the story.
When I preach, I try and help people understand the time, the place and the people of the story. To see that these stories are about real people and a real God.
You would think that with all the videogames and electronic media options, someone reading or telling a story wouldn’t be very interesting to children or to anyone for that matter. But quite the opposite is true! When a live person reads or tells a story, especially if there is a relationship with that person, the story becomes personal. The story becomes a gift.
My mother read Bible stories to myself and my siblings growing up. She also read classics like Tom Sawyer, Moby Dick and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I love reading because my mom loved to read to us. My mom passed away last week. My love for her will not fade, and my love of reading will not diminish. Because you see, the ones who love you, read to you. This is just another way to say I love you!