I don’t do this all the time. In fact, it’s pretty rare. But the other night, I decided to do something different as I prepared to start a new Bible reading plan: I read the first chapters of Genesis out loud. The creation story through the fall of humanity.
It wasn’t a terribly dramatic reading at least not at first. But as I read, I found the drama seeping into my voice. The excitement of creation building with each “Let there be.” The sinister sweetness of the serpent’s question, “Did God really say?” The indignation rising in Adam’s cry, “The woman you gave me.”
Reading flatly wasn’t an option. The emotional quality of the Story, the drama of the opening moments of history, compelled this response. It drew me in and wouldn’t let go.
And that was yet another “Oh yeah” moment for me.
It’s easy to wonder why God chose to communicate the way he did. Why didn’t he just give us a list of rules to obey? Why do we have a story? It’s because God is a storyteller.
From beginning to end, God is telling a story, the Story of his plan to rescue and redeem his people through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And he has made us as storytelling—and story consuming— creatures. He wants us to engage with the drama. He wants us to feel it as we learn from it. To know with both our heads and our hearts. That is what a good storyteller does. And that’s what I was reminded of once again by reading God’s Word aloud.