I remember my mom singing a song to little-girl me at night. It was called “I Love to Tell the Story”. Somehow it became a bit prophetic about my life. (Maybe we should think more about the songs we sing to our wee ones!)
I love good stories. I love both to receive them and to tell them. That’s why I started “A Storyful Life”. But when push comes to shove, there is actually only one story I really love to tell.
This story I love to tell contains the components of a well-crafted tale.
1. A compelling desire
2. A relatable Hero
3. A convincing foe
4. An intense story arc (That is, the inciting incident, challenges and successes, “all-hope-is-lost moment” and glorious upswing with solid resolution mixed with enough mystery to be real.)
5. Tight action
6. Life-like dialogue
7. Worthwhile themes (sacrifice, love, loyalty, etc.)
To me this story is made all the better because it is true. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction.
Maybe another reason why I love this story is because I am part of it. My Dad read about it to me in a book one night, and I later decided I wanted a part in it for myself.
So here I am all these years later with this story that remains the compelling desire of my heart. If I could tell only one more story, this would be it.
What is the story I love to tell?
It’s the story of Easter.
1. The compelling desire is of God Almighty for His holiness to be satisfied and His wayward people to be brought into eternal fellowship with Him.
2. The relatable Hero is the Lord Jesus Christ Who humbled Himself to become a man and is acquainted with our griefs. He was tempted like we are…and yet He never gave in to the temptation. Thus, He became the only One Who didn’t deserve the price for sin, but He still took on the ransom of the world.
3. The convincing foe is that “roaring lion” the Devil. We know he’s convincing because he has tried to devour us.
4. The intense story arc starts in a garden, covers miles and millenia with ups and downs, and returns to a garden. In the garden, the arc plummets until it reaches the “all-hope-is-lost” moment – the Cross where the Hero dies a tortuous, undeserved death for His people. Surely it seems the Villain has triumphed. Here comes the glorious upswing: the tomb is empty, there are eye witnesses, and the Hero triumphs as He sits at the right hand of God Almighty!
As for the tight action, the life-like dialogue and the worthwhile themes, you can check the story out for yourself.
Yes, this is the story I love to tell. No matter what other stories I share, I hope they all point toward this Great Story.
So how did that song go that my Mom used to sing to me?
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory,
To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, it did so much for me;
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee.
I love to tell the story; ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word.
I love to tell the story, for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.
And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song,
’Twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
-“I Love to Tell the Story”
Happy Easter/Resurrection Day to all! I hope and pray you, too, will love (and love to tell) this story.