I grew up in the church – literally, we were there almost every time the doors were open when I was a kid. There are pictures of me from my very youngest years on up as part of Christmas programs, or dragging my friends to vacation Bible school, or just random Sunday School and Awana photos. To me, Bible stories have always been part of the regular list of books and bedtime stories that I could recite at any given time. It’s one of the ways I help my own kiddos get to sleep at night.
I mean, doesn’t everyone know at least some rendition of Jonah or Moses or Joseph – or Jesus for that matter? They’ve made movies about them, after all. Now, sure, we don’t always get all the details right, but for some reason in my head, I thought everyone knew Bible stories.
Then I saw the blank look on the face of one of my friends the other night as we were talking about Passover, in reference to the Israelites and how it began, and the connection to Esther in its timing, etc. And my friend didn’t know what Passover was, or why it was important. I tried, rather unsuccessfully, to explain in a shortened version what happened and why (thankfully, one of the other gals there told her the full story, “reads-like-a-novel” version was in Exodus). She was fascinated, and in the course of the evening admitted that several of the stories – ones that I take for granted – she just didn’t know them. She is a new follower of Christ, and hasn't had the extreme exposure to all things "Christian" throughout her life.
Now, at first, I just felt like a heel for making assumptions. Then later, as I thought about it some more, I was entranced. How marvelous it would be to be able to look at the Bible stories that are so “commonplace” for me as if I’d never seen them before! To be able to discover the wondrous ways that God connects all the stories in His love letter to us.
I’m sure that once upon a time I had that kind of joy and wonder when I learned all the stories. And I find myself praying for the return of that, to be able to enjoy the stories again anew and see the wonder in them as I did the first time. To hear God’s voice clearly in the telling, and know that the grand Story that He began thousands of years ago is just as important to – and for – me today.
I dare you to try it – really read, really pay attention to the age-old stories that you already know. And see just what God is telling you. And be fascinated by it!