“I believe that legends and myths are largely made of ‘truth’, and indeed present aspects of it that can only be received in this mode; and long ago certain truths and modes of this kind were discovered and must always reappear.”
This month, we begin our nine-month journey through the Narrative Lectionary, a program of reading through the Bible together as a worshipping church, reading scripture as a grand Story full of smaller stories. As the readings for the first few weeks of Autumn (‘Ordinary Time’) take us through some of the epic myths of the Hebrew Bible, I wanted our adult Faith Formation classes to explore the concept of myth as a means of uncovering spiritual truth.
For a culture drowning in information, we grasp precious little of the truth. We have decided that Fact and Myth are opposites, and the former more important than the latter.
But in the same way that Myth can’t tell us how old the earth is, Fact cannot tell us why we were put on it.
For Faith Formation this fall, we will be using myths from around the world as a way of finding deeper spiritual truth, with each week being centered around one of the nine aspects of the Fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5. What can the Blackfoot tale of Poia the Star-Boy teach us about self-control? How do we see patience in the Maori story of Tane-Mahuta, who separated earth and sky? Can the story of Icarus be an example of gentleness?
Myth is as old as language itself, and it is myth that makes us who we are.