Stories of Redemption

This is an article I recently wrote for Youth Specialties that gives a small snapshot into some the heart and content of my book Teaching Through the Art of Storytelling. For the full article, click on the link below.

As I write this, I am traveling internationally seeking to build common ground between two people groups who have demonized one another through polarizing rhetoric and histories of resentment. Behind the caricatures I am amazed at the dynamic human stories of hope and perseverance that share so much in common with one another. In large part, it is the humanity of these stories I am seeking to illuminate with a group of fellow peacemakers.

Jesus lived and taught in a similar context of polarizing rhetoric, warring ideologies and religious division. Whether the militant propaganda of the Roman Empire or the self-righteousness of the Pharisees, each stood as a potential hurdle in the promotion of Jesus’ unifying story and reign of the Kingdom of God.

In the case of warring storylines, both the ancient and modern, the Story of God has the ability to transcend the rhetoric through the continued advance of God’s Kingdom as was inaugurated in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The Story of Jesus’ reign swallows up the stories of infighting and offers a hope that invites all to participate in his Story of restoration. His Story redeems humanities’ stories.

Interestingly, as Jesus shares the good news of the Kingdom, he often employs storytelling that takes into account the warring storylines of his day. As a first century rabbi, he develops brilliant parables (known as Jewish Agada) that are rooted in reality, but are able to transcend the rhetoric and create a common ground that points to the hope of the Kingdom.

To read the rest of the article go to Youth Specialities where the article was originally published.