In the beginning was the Language, and the Language was with God, the Language was God. The Language became flesh and moved into our neighborhood. The Author, in an act of love, wrote Himself into the story,
not a list of facts, bulleted and pointed…
not an inerrant text, frozen and static…
And yes, the text is true, we believe this with all our hearts, but is it real? Ah, what does this mean? We claim neither the Prodigal Son nor the Good Samaritan to be real… but are these stories true? Yes! The truth burns within us: Gospel truth is story truth.
It’s not about how big a fish would have to be to swallow a man, but the smallness of Jonah’s petty world against the largeness of God’s gracious world.
It’s not about how many frogs it would take to cover Egypt but why the empire stood in judgment in the first place.
It’s not about proof of death and bodily resurrection after three days. Who has that kind of proof anyhow? No, this is story, and it requires a faith, and a hope, and a God.
We don’t say any of this to diminish the text. We say this to magnify the One to whom the text points to, for what comes blinking, and refracting into clarity, only to blur then refocus, over and over again, is truth in the form of story. Gospel truth is story truth.
Story truth is hope and betrayal, wandering and homecoming, love and risk, the pinnacle of which is tragic death followed by spectacular resurrection (I love how Francis Spufford points out, it’s the only story we’ve ever heard ending with a murder, and then a wedding featuring the one murdered.)
What an absurd and fantastic story….
A story written not in black and white, but written in flesh-tones.
A story not of ink and paper, but water and blood.
A story not about the written word, but rather The Living Word
It’s still being written, still relevant, still available to us here and now, because the Language has become flesh, and dwells among us… the Author, in an act of love, has written Himself into the story.