When my sister was little she had a book called ‘Bullwinkle the Firemoose’. I remember it clearly because she asked for it as a bed time story every night for about a month. Our poor father became dreadfully bored with reading it aloud every night but if he ever slipped into auto pilot and got a word wrong, maybe saying ‘the’ where the book said ‘a’, she’d say ‘No, Daddy, that’s not what it says!’ and make him go back and read it properly.
Yesterday someone on Twitter was asking for help locating a song she remembered from childhood. It turned out to be Tell Me the Stories Of Jesus I love to hear – finally located on Cyber Hymnal if you want a listen: http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/t/m/tmtsoj.htm
This good, old fashioned hymn reminds us that a good story can stand many tellings. Even if, like my little sister, you know it off by heart, a good story will entertain and engage every time you hear it.
As Christians we often seem to feel marginalised and even irrelevant, and we can become desperate to attract people’s attention to let them know that we’re still here and Christianity still matters. But Jesus didn’t tell us to attract people’s attention. He told us to make disciples – people who would follow Jesus and serve other people on his behalf.
To be disciples, people need to know Jesus. To know Jesus, they need someone to tell them about him.
Some of us believe that we are called to make the good news of Jesus present in the digital context. Some people may come looking for it, some may stumble across it – but however they find the good news it’s important that they connect with it. So we strive to make our message relevant, challenging and engaging. All of which is good.
The stories of Jesus are powerful. So powerful that they have come down to us through two thousand years. They have been told by word of mouth, in writing, in stained glass pictures, on film, in art, in music and in countless books.
The digital world can sometimes feel complicated. There’s always a new technology to get on top of, new websites to link to, new apps to recommend.
But our calling as digital disciples is simple. We are called to tell the stories of Jesus we love to hear. How else will people hear them?