Narrative and Story

Early this past week, I got to attend the SD Synod’s Fall Theological Conference for rostered leaders. It was a great couple of days, and much of what we learned and discussed centered on narrative. Personal narratives, the stories or narratives behind things in the various forms of media, and biblical narrative, and what our speaker called “biblical imagination”.

All of this got me thinking about the stories or narratives our own lives tell, and wondering which pieces of scripture (biblical narratives) have stuck with us over the course of our lives and what meaning they hold for us. So for my online devotion this time around, I’d like to invite each one of you to think about your favorite narratives in books, in films, and for our holy scriptures. Which stories have stuck with you, and why? What role do they play in your own narrative, your lives?

For me, the scriptural narrative that will always be embedded in my being is 1 Corinthians 12:12-17, where the apostle Paul talks about the body of Christ, the church, and our need for unity as that body of Christ. It’s stuck with me because, as a kid, I often got picked on or made to feel like I didn’t matter because I use a wheelchair. But when I read this piece of scripture, I am reminded that all matter, all have a place in the body of Christ.

As you go into the weekend, I also invite you to have a look at those texts or stories that have found their way into your lives, into your stories. Read them, ponder them, and rest with them for a while. And if you like, drop me a note or email and tell me about those narratives which mean so much to you. So much of what we do in ministry involves hearing those stories of those whom we minister to and with, and I would consider it an honor to hear those stories.

God’s peace be with you.