Devotions from Jan Johnson’s book, Invitation to the Jesus Life

Jesus lived and taught with beauty as a storyteller, poet, screenplay writer, and street-theater actor. He used symbols and stories and presented his radical but beautiful message in delightful ways.

Jesus used stories not so much to give information as to cultivate transformation in his listeners. The parables charmed listeners into interacting with the drama, and they acted as invitations to believe and trust.

To woo us into the Kingdom, Jesus chose his symbols ( concrete items used to describe beautiful truths) carefully. He portrayed the kingdom of God as a celebration, even a marriage feast. He used metaphors to explain spiritual realities. He said, “I am the Door, The Good Shepherd etc”  Such symbols and metaphors speak to the creative, imaginative parts of ourselves that are often closed off to God.  They help us grasp what is almost too much to grasp otherwise.

“Connecting with God is not about receiving orders from heaven but is packed with back-and –forth personal interaction. The Bible is a divine love story, a novel in which, though the scene is set, the plot well developed, and the ending planned and in sight, there is still some way to go, and we are invited to becomes living,  participating, intelligent, and decision-making characters within the story as it mores toward its destination.”

Today drink in the beauty around you and  think of what it was like for God to create it that way.