I’m in Austin at a seminar. Last night, about 10:00 PM, I sat outside with three friends eating the most wonderful pizza. (A pizza place near the University of Texas that is small, old, and "unique".) It was a very cool evening and very enjoyable. What did we do? We told stories.
We all have them. We have stories about childhood, school, vacations, family, work, marriage, children, church, friends, etc. Then we have those stories that seem to suddenly unfold rather unexpectedly right in the middle of our lives. Maybe the most precious stories are the stories that we share with the people who are most important to us.
I have memories of my dad and my uncle sitting in my grandmother’s living room in Searcy, Ark. telling stories over and over. They would tell the same stories year after year.
I have memories of sitting at the kitchen table at my in-laws home in Florence, Ala. listening to my father-in-law tell stories. These stories would often be lengthy and simply woven into the conversation. They added character, color, and emotion to the conversation. He would also tell these stories in his preaching. To this day, I can think about certain stories and hear his voice as he told them.
Family stories need to be told. If they are good stories, they should be told again and again. They remind our children and the rest of the family about their identity. Don’t worry about repeating a story. (Aside: Please don’t embarrass your mom, dad, child, grandparents, by saying, "We’ve heard this story before!" If it is a good story, that is all the more reason to tell it again.)
As Christ-followers, we are a part of a great story.
- The story of God’s redemptive work for thousands of years through Israel, (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and many, many others).
- The story of Jesus. His life, teachings, and ultimately his death and resurrection.
- The story of the church. Christ-followers, who for two thousand years have attempted to live out their faith in whatever setting they lived.
- The story of the congregation that I am a part of. Men and women who served, taught Sunday school, loved people, and gave of themselves to 0one another.
What does all of this mean? Perhaps this means that we all are a part of something very special. We each have a story to tell. The story did not begin with us nor will it end with us.
(Now, that ought to humble us).