Yesterday we had a workshop on story telling. It appeared to me that I was the most curmudgeonly attendant there. The workshop was conducted by an Episcopal priest who is a professional story teller. Her stories were allegorical but not scriptural. The sort of story telling that scripture utilizes are simple allegorical stories that tell us something about ourselves if we identify with the stories and the characters within them. It can be creative, and constructive. Half of the people at the workshop were Anglicans and half were not church people but were interested in this sort of story telling. The priest may have specifically avoided scriptural tales in view of the participants. The act of relating to one another through listening to allegorical tales, reacting to the characters in the stories in the various ways that one does, and vicariously to one another as a result, produces an interesting and valuable insight about how one thinks about oneself and the tangible and intangible reality you think you know. Whether fable or parable, allegory or metaphor we can delve into a head space ourselves or learn from others. Of course whether we were church goers or not, there was no discernible difference in the responses. And yet when I look at the liturgy on any Sunday, the readings of scripture, the hymns, the psalms sung, even the prayers have significant elements of allegory. What that does is allow in interpretation a respect to the diversity amongst us. Our God-given right to be ourselves in all things of the spirit and to follow where that will lead in charity and harmony, even the curmudgeonly.
For Jim's past posts, check out his old blog here: