Sunday, April 29, 2007

Feel like I am caught up in a story

I have been looking at orality vs literacy issues. Right now, I am exploring the elements of a story.

NT Wright, although writing about how the NT relates to "the people of God," offers some insights into worldviews and stories. What he said about the elements of the story is what has caught my attention. And I feel I am in the middle of a story.

In a story there is a sender sending an object to a receiver. This is the mission. The object is entrusted to an agent who can not complete the mission because the opposition is stronger than the agent's "help." At this point it would be good to illustrate the point as Wright does with Little Red Riding Hood. The mother (sender) sends food (object) to the grandmother (receiver) by Little Red Riding Hood (agent). She can not deliver the food because of opposition (the wolf) who is stronger than her charm (help). At this point the mission is truly in danger of failure. But the story moves into the next phase. The agent becomes the receiver and there may not be a sender. So, Little Red Riding Hood now becomes the receiver. A new agent is needed to bring relief to the situation. The wood cutter (new agent) comes in order to overcome opposition with his ax (new helps). This mission is completed, in other words the Red Riding Hood (new receiver) gets rescued (new object) by the wood cutter (new agent) thru his ax (new helps). The initial sequence is repeated and the mission is completed. Red Riding Hood escapes the wolf (opponent) and deliveries the food (object) to grandmother (original receiver). Now, I don't know if that is exactly how the real goes or not, but it does illustrate the point. My apologizes to Wright, who obviously can explain this better than I have.

Don't worry if you got lost in the details (it took me awhile to get this down also), but maybe you can see the point. There is God (the sender) who has a message (object) for the world (the receiver). He has commissioned his church (the agent) to deliver the message (the object), but the opposition is strong. However, because of the Cross (the new agent with new helps etc) the gates of hell will not prevail. The mission can be completed.

Whatever our opposition is today, Help is on the way. We are in constant need of receiving this help. It will come, then we will be able to accomplish the original purpose.

Dan 10:11-13 He said to me, "O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell you and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me,I stood up trembling.Then he said to me, " Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.

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