Do you remember a story that your grandparents told you?
The story of a different time, a different life, told so vibrantly and clearly that it’s telling transports you back to feel like you are there with them.
That story you probably heard more than once. The dramatic effect of the story may have become mundane in the retelling, losing the intrigue and surprise...or perhaps the story continued to draw you in and compelled you to share it to someone else.
Stories have a way of embedding deeply within us, as we reflect on, and are moved by them.
During our time in East Africa, we spent a lot of time teaching the stories of the Bible. Stories are an effective tool for teaching who God is, His plan for our redemption, and how He accomplished it, as told through Scripture.
People accept stories and often listen attentively, as they are captivated by the characters, searching for the moral taught by it.
In his book “The Advent of the Lamb of God,” Russ Ramsey tells us the story of redemptive history in Scripture, to inspire us and remind us of God’s plan for His creation.
This story is written in 25 chapters, perfect as an advent devotional. It can also be read in a few sittings for those who want to read through the whole story and be filled with the wonder and awe, as it unfolds.
He takes us back to the garden, where God’s creativity first burst forth; where the question was first asked, ‘Is God really being as good as he can be?’ He takes us through to the covenant cut with Abraham, a promise he would not see fulfilled. He tells us about a nation enslaved, but rescued miraculously, as they became established as a people, Israel, with tablets of stone to instruct them in right worship.
We read about the weakness and failures of that nation, who received the promised land, only to squander it in sin, resulting in exile to a foreign country. Then, as captives in a strange land, they wait on the fulfilment of the prophets’ foretelling, the Messiah who would come to their rescue.
He sets the scene for the Savior’s arrival, and tells of Mary & Joseph, Elizabeth & Zechariah, the shepherds, and the magi. He crafts the story with historical insight to help us hear and understand the story that is central to our faith.
In isolation, the Christmas story tells of Jesus’ virgin birth. But as he tells this story, we are reminded that God’s plan was from the beginning, to usher in a Redeemer to rescue us. Through the history of Israel and the prophets, we see in Jesus’ birth, God’s faithfulness to His promises and His sovereignty in establishing His will.
I really enjoyed this retelling, and recommend it, especially if you are looking for a family devotional or reading for the Christmas season.
What are the stories you remember? What was it that captivated you about them?
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review.