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God Himself Stepped into the Gospel Story

In describing the incarnation Jill Carattini wrote:

Novelist Kurt Vonnegut once said of one of his most recurrent characters, “Kilgore was the only character I ever created who had enough imagination to suspect that he might be the creation of another human being. He said, ‘The way things are going, all I can think of is that I’m a character in a book by somebody who wants to write about somebody who suffers all the time.’”

In one scene Kilgore’s haunting suspicion is unveiled before him. Sitting content at a bar, he is suddenly overwhelmed by someone that has entered the room. Beginning to sweat, he becomes uncomfortably aware of a presence disturbingly greater than himself. The author himself, Kurt Vonnegut, has stepped beyond the role of narrator and into the book itself, and the effect is as bizarre for Kilgore as it is for the readers.

Vonnegut came to explain to Kilgore face-to-face that his life is all due to the pen and whims of an author who made it all up for his own sake. In this twisted ending, Kilgore is forced to conclude that apart from the imagination of the author he does not actually exist.

The gospels tell a story that is perhaps as fantastic as Vonnegut’s tale, though with consequences in stark contrast. The Gospel of John begins with a story that is interrupted by the presence of the author: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. … All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. … And the word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a Father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-15). The Word became one of us and moved into the neighborhood. But in this story, the presence of the author is not our demise but our inherent good.

Source: Jill Carattini, “Into the Story” RZIM.org (7-17-17)

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