In the Disney movie "Bedtime Stories," Adam Sandler discovers that when his nephew and niece tell stories, they come true and change his life. In the movie "Inkheart," soon to be released, a girl named Meggie learns that when her father reads a story out loud, the stories come to life in the real world.
Its a well-known theme in books and now movies in which a story comes to life or people from the real world enter into a world of a story. Two recent films, "Bedtime Stories" and "Inkheart," build on this. Classic films and books like "Never-Ending Story" and "Chronicles of Narnia" are good examples.
We can understand why this genre would be so captivating. We love stories. We live our lives through stories. When this world seems so messed up and confused, who wouldnt want to jump into the world of story where the villains are conquered, the heroes win, and they live happily ever after.
Theres also something to be said here about the power of stories and words. They can shape reality and form identity. Anyone who believes that a story is just make believe has forgotten how really good stories and really important words can catch our attention and make us better people.
The Bible, after all, is a collection of words, sayings, and stories that have shaped reality. It endures even now and we put a lot of faith into the way the Bible describes the world. It speaks of the past, but also of the future. It describes what is and what has been, but also what will be.
Those films and books that describe how we get caught up in the stories is just somewhat like Johns description of the Word of God becoming flesh real and moving into our world. Sort of but not exactly. The difference is that the author of the story, according to the gospel writer, is God. Its his Word, not ours.
Gods Word takes up residence in our world. He doesnt come to carry us off to a world in a book or enlist our aid in a war in another realm. The Word of God is the one who enters into the story-realm and the story-realm is this world. The world of flesh and blood. The Word of God wrote this world - through him all things were made we are the characters, not Him.
And like John the Baptist, we are witnesses of this unfolding drama. We are witnesses to the entrance of God into this setting and locale. The Word of God is not simply ink on a page. Its more than a profound slogan etched in stone. Its even more than a formula of faith whispered and told to others.
The Word of God is God
The Word of God is life
The Word of God is light ... and heres the really interesting part that word was embodied and he came to dwell among us.
So what does this mean for us? If we pay attention, I think it means that ...
So we tell this story of the Word become Flesh over and over again. Not simply because its in this book. Not simply because its a classic. Not simply because its a historical event. Rather we tell it because it is still unfolding and the Word of God has become flesh in our hearing of it today. May God bless us to receive the one who came from the Father and live like His children.
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