Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Promise of His Birth

I recently watched an interview of one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver, and among all of her many quotable gems came this one in the middle of a discussion about revision:

The first sentence makes a promise the rest of the book will keep. The first paragraph enlarges that promise.

If we think about the entry of Jesus Christ into this teeming world of humanity in that way, what did the elements of his entry--the first sentence and paragraph of his life, so to speak--promise the viewer at that time, and the reader in our time?

A humble event in a tucked away corner of the world promised greatness to come, for all good stories show a wonderful character arc and what could be more of a change than a babe wrapped in poor rags ascending to the right hand of God?

A beaming new star promised sights never before seen, and indeed, Christ went on to perform miracles that were unimaginable--feeding thousands from a few fish, a small amount of bread, and a little wine; healing lepers, the blind, the crippled, the possessed at a single touch or word; and even raising the dead. 

Angelic choirs promised heavenly sounds never before heard, and how else would you describe the parables and teachings that followed? So many of God's children had turned a deaf ear to His call until Christ came. His voice opened the ears of the deaf so that they could, once again, sense the celestial music of truth.

Humble shepherds promised a multitude of followers and disciples, not the least of which would be the apostles He, Himself would select in order to organize His kingdom on earth.

Wise men promised the wealth of the earth laid at his feet--by rich men willing to give it all up for the pearl of great price . . . and by Satan, anxious to stop His ministry before it had hardly begun.

And a wicked king intent on destroying any and all possible heirs to his throne promised other rulers--rulers who would, in the end, see Him hung upon a cross in order to do away with the meddlesome rabble rouser. 

Little did they know that by killing Him, they would give birth to His story's sequel. 

And so, as in all great literature, the promise continues.

I wish you all peace, love, and joy as we enter into this Christmas season. May we keep His promise alive.


  1. What an amazing and thought provoking post on many levels in writing, spiritual belief, and life itself. Great job.

  2. What an insightful comparison! It's heartening to see how many ways writing can be tied into life.