The God Story

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Life without stories is a tree without leaves.
Imagination clothes bare bones.
Myths, legends, stories and folktales are life-signals in any community –
think of family, school, team or nation.

God comes to us in the context of story, but what sort of a story is it? For some it’s a mystery, a great insoluble mystery story only to be solved by superior
wisdom and intellect. That was the way of the ancient Greeks. For others, it is a spectacular story of wonder and power to be seen in miracles that defy the laws of nature. That’s the kind of story for many in ancient Israel.
But, Paul, in 1 Corinthians, insists that it is through a great love story that it is to be told, a love-story of sacrifice and self-giving reaching its climax in the
crucifixion of the Christ.

How are we to present God’s story today? Not as the solution to an intellectual conundrum, a puzzle to be solved; not as the performer who does incredible
tricks that astound and surprise; and not as the Great Avenger out to destroy and to punish. If true to the Gospel, it is a story of humble self-giving, crucified love. A story like that cannot just be told; it has to be dramatized. The story-teller has to act it out. And it cannot be told from a position of superiority or arrogance. Nor can it be told out of rivalry in a competitive approach with others as Paul told the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1:10-17). After all, we are not just tellers of the story, we become the story for others around us.

How was God first presented to you, or, in other words, what was the part that God played in the stories told to you as a child?

How do we turn God into a puzzle to be solved or a miracle to amaze us?

Why, according to 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, did Paul centre his message on Christ crucified?

• If the message of Christ crucified lies at the centre of the Gospel, what then follows for us in our living of the Christian life and in telling others
about it?

Rev Ron Potter