Jesus would tell a story.
When my son Cody was 14 and more troubled than I can write about and keep from feeling my heart break all over again, I gave him a Bible. I had only recently begun attending church. Sometimes Cody would go with me, but though he would never admit to being baffled, I sensed he didn’t have the background required to take much from the messages. So I bought him a Bible of his own and suggested that if he read at least Matthew and Acts, he’d get some basics that would make church less strange and tedious.
Late that night, he ran upstairs. Sounding more animated than he had in a couple of years, he said, “Hey, I thought this Bible was a lot of preaching, but it’s a great story.”
Didn’t Cecil B. DeMille title his epic film, The Greatest Story Ever Told?
In his essay “Faith and Fiction,” novelist Fredrick Buechner contends that whether what we call inspiration comes from the Holy Spirit, from the muse (who or whatever she may be), or results from a lucky break in the process of imagining, it’s possible at least every now and then to be better than we are, to write more than we know. And he points out that St. Paul asked, “Do you not know that God’s spirit dwells in you?”
And 1 Corinthians 2:16 maintains, “But we have the mind of Christ.” Which could mean that Christ’s mind has entered ours, thereby giving us its capabilities. Or it could mean that we can use our minds in the same ways Christ used his.
Either interpretation tells me we are capable of tuning in and getting divine help with our essays, poems or stories. And if we aren’t tuning in, if the spirit isn’t helping, the problem may lie with our attitude.
One Sunday Gary Goodell, a pastor and former seminary professor, proposed that it may be through the act of communion that Christ enters our being.
Let’s suppose this is the case. Then having the mind of Christ depends upon receiving communion, and according to 1 Corinthians 11: 23-29, receiving communion (rather than just gobbling it) requires a humble and honest attitude.
So, attitude may be the key to the place (or places) the spirit (or spirits) rests. Our attitude may determine which spirit can move us, as well as how much we hear of what the spirit has to say.