I got into the car the other day and caught the tail end of something on NPR. I’m not even sure what the program was about, but the announcer caught my attention when she said that, when you come to think about it, there are only really two stories in the world: 1. someone sets out on a journey and 2. a stranger arrives in town.
I’ve been thinking about that and applying it to as many stories as I can, especially those in Scripture. The Nativity? Mary & Joseph set out for Bethlehem. The shepherds and the Magi come to visit the “new stranger” in town… The Holy Family travel to Jerusalem and Jesus stays behind in the Temple… The call of the disciples… Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem for Passover. It all seems to fit.
Can there really only be two fundamental stories?