It all depends on your perspective.
I used to teach a session to Year 4 (8-9 year olds) about the gospels. To introduce the idea of different gospels providing different perspectives, I would start by asking the children to write a sentence about what happened at playtime that day. Predictably, we would get 30 different sentences. Some were similar, some bore no relation to each other, some even seemed to contradict each other. But all of them were true.
When we read the gospels, we get different perspectives on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Together, they tell us more than any single perspective could. More about what happened, who said what and when, and more about who God is.
It’s the same thing with people’s testimonies. The more people’s stories we hear, the more perspectives we encounter, the more we discover about who God is.
But we need to be aware of the voices we don’t hear as well. Whose perspectives are missing? Missing from the testimonies we share, missing from the story of the church, missing from the Gospel narratives…..
We need to learn to listen to the silences as well as the words.
#adventbookclub runs from 1st December until Epiphany. This year we are using “The Art of Advent” by Jane Williams, and raising some money for Mercy UK, a mental health charity over at the JustGiving page here. Search #adventbookclub on Twitter or Facebook to join in the conversation.