Chaplain’s Corner: Finding Yourself in the Story

As Christians we believe the Bible is the living word of God. What does that mean exactly? It means that alongside studying the context of what the text meant to its original audience, we are also called to ask what the text is speaking into our lives today. There are many ways to do this, but the way that I have found particularly powerful the last few years is the question, “Where do you find yourself in the story?”

Asking this puts us into a story in a new way, not as the reader, watching passively from a distance, but as a participant. We should be encouraged to ask wondering questions: What was it like to be this person? How would I react if that was me?

But we also should be attuned to knowing when we are to identify with someone other than the main character in the story. Take, for example, the parable of the Prodigal Son: You can read the story and find yourself as the prodigal son. Six months later you might very well find yourself as the jealous brother, or perhaps the forgiving father.

We never stop reading the Bible because it can speak to us differently through different characters as our life circumstances change, meeting us where we are on our faith journey. Embrace the living word and never stop asking, “Where do I find myself in the story today?”
– Caley Ortman, Chaplain