I love the Gospel story. It is the story of a broken world, a place where darkness, suffering, pain, and fear wreaks havoc on the human race. The people cry out, “Why God, why must we suffer?!!!” The people wonder if God knows about the situation down here. Oh, He knows about it alright. We have a Christmas story to tell because not only is God aware, He has come into the mire. The Son came to earth because we need a Hero, we need a Savior.
Can we even begin to count the number of stories there are about suffering and struggle and protagonist who overcomes? I love stories like Shawshank Redemption, The Wizard of Oz, and Saving Private Ryan. I love stories that involve sacrifice and redemption. So did J.R.R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings who said, “There cannot be any ‘story’ without a fall – all stories are ultimately about the fall – at least not for human minds as we know them and have them.”
It was Tolkien’s friendship with an atheist friend and a shared passion for story that was instrumental in turning that friend to the Gospel story. C.S. Lewis, the friend, came to believe that all great stories have elements traced back to The Story.
In 2011 I decided I should pick a book I had oft seen around the campus where I work. I settled down on a windy afternoon in the early fall and opened to page one of The Hunger Games. Within a few days I had read all three books in The Hunger Games series and MAN! I loved the story!!!
C.S. Lewis said, “Christianity is the story of how a rightful King has landed and is calling us to His great campaign of sabotage.” The Hunger Games trilogy is definitely a story of sabotage, and gives us a character that refuses to be a pawn in someone else’s story.
I’ll stop there. Stop reading this article and start reading The Hunger Games. You will love this story and perhaps reflect soulfully about The Greatest Story Ever Told. And if you’ve already run the gaunlet with Katniss, I would be very interested to hear your insight or Gospel revelation in the story.