In a mid-June article titled, “This is the Summer the Youth Own New York,” the New York Times described the presence and energy of young people evident all over the city. After months and months of pandemic-required separation, as the weather warms and the city opens up, youth in our communities are out and about and ready to celebrate. One college student described a meme she saw saying, “This summer in New York is going in the Bible.” She added, “That’s the best way that I can describe how people my age are looking at it, that it’s going in the Bible. The energy level could not be higher going into the summer months.”
The rest of the article made it clear that this phrase was meant to describe hopes for a summer that is epic, legendary: where joyful freedom will create indelible memories. Of all the ways to describe that hope, it was so interesting that people not claiming to be religious or even spiritual would reference the Bible as shorthand for describing extraordinary experiences.
This article, along with all the ways we tell our national story on July 4th, got me thinking. What types of stories would we deem worthy of adding to the Bible today? Would they be the most dramatic? The most comforting? The most humorous? Would the narratives describe achievement or struggle? Rifts or reconciliation? Would they challenge systems, and if so, how? If the Bible is a love story centered on God’s care for us, how is that best described so as to be both evocative and accessible?
There are no right answers to this rhetorical question. But it might be an interesting spiritual exercise to reflect on what experiences in our lives and in the lives of our communities qualify as being of “Biblical proportion.” And, thus defined, how the stories describing those experiences are most effectively shared.