Originally published in the May 2018 issue of Rupert’s Land News.
God created Adam and Eve in God’s image and every human being who has ever lived reflects this – the imago dei. This means we create because our God is creative; we tell stories because God is a storyteller.
Stories are a fitting medium for a God who is called the Word. Whether it’s written down in Scripture, incarnate in Jesus Christ, or eternally upholding the universe, God is telling a story. And God’s creatures, likewise, can’t seem to help themselves. Despite the distortion of the Fall, humanity continues to create stories within God’s grand narrative, yearning for resolution and restoration. People have been playing variations on the same themes for millennia: creation, fall, and redemption have been stamped all over our stories.
Our first stories are spoken aloud. The ancient Greeks, for example, told the story of Odysseus and his long road home from Troy over and over again until Homer wrote it down in the late 17th or early 18th century BC. In this epic poem, Odysseus eventually reunites with his family and defeats those who threaten to take everything from him. This isn’t what generations of hearers and readers remember, though. Odysseus lives on because of his longing. Today, an “odyssey” doesn’t refer to a triumphant return; it means “a long wandering or voyage usually marked by many changes of fortune.” Even if the ancient Greek experience is foreign, there is a deposit of truth: humanity longs for home.