Think of your favorite novel. What’s the message in the story? What is the plot line? In Swallows and Amazons, by Arthur Ransome, the message is about children growing up and maturing. The plotline is a series of adventures where the children are challenged to solve problems and grow into young adulthood. If we pull out an individual scene from the book and look at it separately, we will miss the whole point of the story.
When Susan, the oldest sister, prepares the first meal on the island, we see a young girl preparing food for her two brothers and sister. Apart from the whole story there isn’t anything interesting or important about it, but when we read this scene connected to the whole book, we learn that she labors at this with the pride of accomplishment and even when she is tired of doing the work, she continues because she wants to be responsible. We see her mature through her work and her beliefs about her role and the work she does. She is growing up. The single scene, cooking for her siblings must be seen in light of the larger plan, or the message of the book is dimly lit.
The Bible has a Theme
The Bible is a series of stories connected and intertwined to give us a message, Jesus. If we read these stories apart from the message of the whole book we miss the point. For example, most people are familiar with the story of David and Goliath. If I read this story to my three-year-old grandson, he will experience in his imagination the courage and resolve of David and I’m happy about this but as he grows older I want him to learn to see this story in light of the Grand Story, Jesus.
Dig Deeper and Find Connections
If I stop with the lesson about David’s courage and conclude that a lover of God has courage and resolve, I will try to live my life like David. To say I like the way David made this or that decision and I want to mimic him is a good thing but his story has a greater purpose. David’s life is a window opened to us, showing man’s need and God’s power and desire to meet that need.
David’s story is more than a good example. It’s a theatre and if we focus on the main plot line we’ll find more than a shepherd boy who was made king over a nation. We find Jesus.
Why did David think God was awesome?
Why does God think you are awesome?
What about God’s Story makes you willing to risk life and limb?
Do you think your story is necessary?