If you were asked what your favourite story was what would you say?
How do you feel when a story you know and love is being made into a programme or a film?
I know quite a few people who get quite anxious when that happens. Why? Because one of the reasons they love the stories themselves is because they have already created a certain picture in their imaginations and they worry that the creator of the film or programme will ruin that picture! A friend of mine told me last week that her son has read the first three Harry Potter books and has watched the first two films. Her daughter wants to watch the films, because her friend is allowed to. But my friend won’t let her watch the films until she has read the books, or had the books read to her!
The great thing about books is that we are able to create a picture in our heads, although we may be reading the same book or story as someone else, no one will have the same world in their heads as we will. Therefore no one will be experiencing it the same as we will. How exciting is that!
Throughout the Bible stories are used as a way to help people understand deep, theological truths, and people still use them today. Our Bible verse this week comes from the book of Daniel where it says
“To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.”
In the same way as when we hear stories we create our own world, we may well create our own meaning as well, or not even realise that there is a meaning in the first place and just hear a story.
When I was 7 I spent 6 weeks in hospital with a fractured arm. Whilst I was there my parents bought me a walk,an and the first two cassettes from the BBC adaptations of the Chronicles of Narnia – the magicians nephew, and the lion the witch and the wardrobe. I listened to them constantly and thus began my obsession with Narnia. It wasn’t until I was older that I discovered that C. S. Lewis wrote this books to share the message of Christianity.
I read all of them again when I was at university, and I felt like I was reading from a completely new light. The magicians nephew was showing the story of Genesis, the lion the witch and the wardrobe showing the story of Jesus, and the last battle a depiction of revelation. It gave me new insight into Narnia and into the Gospel. Does that take away from my reading them in the first place? No! Not at all, it just helped me look from a new perspective. I’m going to finish now with our thought for the week which comes from the last battle and says so much about books but also about our lives.
“All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
Challenge: think about your favourite story, what do you think the author was trying to say through that?
Prayer: Thank you father that give us the gift to be able to explain things using stories but also the ability to understand the meaning. Help us to be curious and to try and search deeper. Amen