In the beginning…

Posted: October 20, 2013 in Education, Humanity, Literature

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“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (NIV Gen 1:1). Starting from the beginning seems like a great place to start. Even John wrote that, “In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God.” (NIV John 1:1).  This is my starting point with my students – I teach at a Christian high school. I tell my students that after Jesus gave the Parable of the Sower, His disciples blatantly asked why He speaks in parables (a story told to illustrate a moral). In other words, Jesus, just tell us what you mean…

Jesus replied, “Though seeing they do not see, and though hearing, they do not hear or understand…They hardly hear with their ears and they close their eyes.” (NIV Matthew 13:13-15). In my interpretation, Jesus is remarking that some may understand His message while others will turn away and choose not to listen. Moreover, that His morals are illustrated much more effectively by using narrations rather than simply conveying the message bluntly.

And so…should it really take John Irving over 500 pages to convey his message that God works through us in mysterious ways, as he writes A Prayer for Owen Meany? Probably. The story, itself, is a necessary medium to attain the final goal.

I try to impress upon my students that in the world of academia, their eyes and ears are blessed, much like the eyes and ears of Jesus’ disciples. Therefore, we are given a special opportunity to connect with literature in a way that very few people will.

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