Perhaps by nature, or possibly by nurture, i reflect a smoky image of my Scotch-Irish lineage. Some times I do so deliberately because I prefer the cultural atmospherics of my ancestry. Other times it just shows up, working its way in agreement with my natural inclination, traceable to the primal, tribal characteristics of the Celtic peoples. Whatever the case, I have learned to go along with the flow of who i am or who i have become as far as they do not work at odds with Christ Kingdom values and expect better outcomes than in any of the other ways i have tried to order my life.
One of the hallmarks of classic Celtic culture is that of the oral tradition. We are a people of story and we like the story best when it is told. The sing song rhythms spilling forth from the very heart of a master story teller can magically transform the ears of the hearer into eyes that can transcend time and space, seamlessly transporting them from this world to another, this time into any past or future imaginable.
It is inevitable, even laudably, that such story be recorded to preserve it from loss. Where would we be had not someone recorded the classic tales of the Ilead or the Odyssey, or compiled the scipt of the theatrical works of Shakespeare? What if no one had ever thought to record Patsy Cline, Elvis Presley, or John Coltrane? I value and appreciate the preservation of antiquity, especially the Holy Bible, but all of this, all of these, started out as voice falling upon the ear of the listener, transforming a moment from what really is into what it could be.
Doug Murren (www.murrengroup.com) cites one of the main reasons that Christ Followers are failing to attend church is that culturally we are all on media overload. He says that the typical evangelical pastor dispenses information. I read a lot of blogs, posts, and just about anything short. I am filled to the brim with information. I want inspiration. I want impartation. If I want information I will read a blog, thank you. Information can, but doesn’t necessariilly change anything. It just adds bytes to my biological hard drive that may or may not be recalled.
I am convinced of a thing called string theory. The part that I bought into was where it proposes that all matter is vibrating energy at different frequencies. It is like plucking the string of a guitar on stage and all the similarly tuned instruments begin to vibrate along with. The Bible says that God spoke and matter became. It is that simple. While I trust the text I would propose that He didn’t merely speak, but rather God sang. You and I are the residual echo of the song that God sang at the very beginning, “Let us make man…” It is the power of the word, the spoken truth, the story, the oral tradition.
The Bible is a story of stories. All the little stories add up to a bigger story that all vibrates in sympathetic harmonic with the original. I have read the story and the stories. The information is all in there. I don’t want to waste my limited time with my fellow sojourner passing on information. I want to share the story. I want to share the Big Bible Story, not from my memory but from my experience. I want to take the raw black and white off of the page, ingest it, and bring forth a living epistle, a story with skin on its bones. There is information available. There are people who excel at transferring information. I am not that person. I tell stories. I hear stories. I live stories.
Last night at church the pastor read from the Book of Revelations. He read that the blessing from the words of the book were for the hearers. I have read that section of scripture many times. I could easily recall and quote it from memory in a couple of different modern translations. Last night I got it. It is the story. This is one. A story of my journey and how the Big Bible story has influenced the path of my own. I hope that both of them impact yours this week.
Would that I could, I would wrap you all in a warm coat of words, or immerse you into a refreshing pool imagination, and reveal to you all the song of songs, that song that sang the world into existence and holds us all together in rhythm with the Singer of us all.