Encounters with Jesus is a book of 18 guided Scripture meditations based on stories in the Gospels. It was published in the early 1990s by the UCA Assembly and id now available as a digital ebook (PDF). Craig Mitchell edited the book when he first worked for The Joint Board of Christian Education.

“In recent years, many Bible scholars have encouraged Christians to focus their attention on the Bible as narrative or story. The Bible as a whole is a story of cosmic proportions describing God, the universe, and God’s love for the world. The Bible is also a unique library containing many different kinds of literature, one of which is narrative or story. Treating the Bible as a special story should affect how we study it, preach it, and pray with it.

Often in Bible study we try to draw from a passage of Scripture the main point or principle it seems to make. Then we forget the story itself to focus instead on the biblical principle. However in doing this we can close our minds to other possible meanings contained within the story. One reason we may cringe inside when we hear the story of the Good Samaritan `again’ is that we think we know its meaning backwards.

Tell a group of people a story and then ask each person what it meant – you will get a variety of answers. Paul Ricoeur speaks of stories as having a `surplus of meaning’: layers of message like the skin of an onion or the range of colours in a rainbow. Jesus used stories to communicate because they held people’s attention, but also because the truth he communicated was richer than what could be stated as a simple principle.”

from Encounters with Jesus

You can visit Craig’s blog here to learn more and download the book.