A good story can capture our attention and our hearts. Whether it’s a book, TV show, movie, or Broadway musical, there’s something about a good story. Some can make us laugh and others can make us cry. Music makes an impression and the lyrics and melodies may stay with us. But good characters can really pull us in deeper. We relate to the people and their situations. Sometimes we may have had similar feelings or experiences and we make the connection. And other times, these characters help us to understand something new or from a different perspective.
The Bible is a collection of stories and a collection of characters. It’s the way the early Biblical writers told about God, by telling stories. They shared about our greater family of faith, people and characters who did great things, as well as those times they failed and turned away. God used characters in the Bible to help us make these connections to Him as well. These people lived hundreds or thousands of years ago and, while culturally some things were different, there are still many similarities that we have with them. We make similar mistakes, have similar desires, and most importantly, we worship the same God. God has been right there with humanity from the beginning and God continues to be with us today.
The Bible has really come alive to me in new ways as I try to understand the perspective and experiences of these characters. It first started as I read some historical fiction books based on Biblical characters. Of course, these books were set in different times and cultures, but it helped me to experience something new about these people. What the Bible communicates in a matter of verses, these authors took their stories and shaped them into something to help me see more than what was just on the surface. To see the way the author portrayed their thoughts, struggles, and journey of faith made these characters become real. Now, as I read the Bible, I try to look deeper to think about these characters. I see these names and the experiences they had, and I think about how these people are a part of our great family of faith. And most importantly, these stories and characters point to an incredible God, who is holy, merciful, kind, and loving.
– Amy Givens, Director of Youth Ministry