Stories are powerful. Stories of culture, personal stories, books, movies … the list goes on. We’re completely surrounded by stories.
As we’ve been involved with our Indigenous brothers and sisters here in the Macarthur region, the use of stories has stood out as being vital. Everything in Indigenous culture is story based. Every family, every tribe has a story. And these stories are shared with each generation and passed on from person to person. As students on mission we have a lot to learn from this.
After all, we talk about the Bible being a story, a narrative. The centre of the Bible’s story is of course God himself. His plans, His character, His rescue plan revealed. In Deuteronomy God commands his people to pass his story on. In the New Testament the witnesses of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection pass this onto others. And it is for that very reason that John writes his gospel (John 20:31).
Pastor Michael, or Father as some of those around the area call him, uses story to teach Indigenous people. He uses painting to share and pass on stories from the Bible. True stories that hold our hope and life to people. Every aspect of the painting represents a truth of the Gospel – from the colour choice, to the symbols and the imagery. They teach doctrinal truths in a way which profoundly speaks to Indigenous Australians and to us.
God’s story of redemption as told in the Bible can be shared in many ways, yet we often get stuck in the same patterns. We’ve been challenged this week to think about how we can communicate and share the wonderful grace of Christ through our words, our actions and even our art.
// Ben Purdy & Avril Lonsdale //