I love a good story!

I’m officially “old’ I suppose and one of the prime evidences of that fact is that I love to tell stories!  Those of us with a lot more history than future tend to do that. One of my late uncles visited our home a couple of times each year when he was traveling. Uncle Keith was a great story-teller and I enjoyed sitting with him, listening.  One of the joys of the upcoming holidays for many people is the opportunity to gather with friends and family. There will be meals but the food will soon be forgotten while the stories told around the table will linger in memory. There will be tales told of accidents, spills, scrapes with the law, awards, and little dramas that are ‘life.’  Most of them will have been told before and will be told again. It’s what we humans do. Our stories will make us laugh and cry, but they are more than entertaining.

Stories define and explain us.  The more of your story I know, the better I understand who you are. Authentic stories reveal the triumphs and failures, the hits and misses of life.  Being able to talk about who we were, who we are, and who we hope to become is part of growing emotionally and spiritually.  When a person is loved enough to know they can tell their whole story, they can find redemption, forgiveness, hope, and change that flows from the inside out. That is why 12 step recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous© create safe places for people to tell their real stories, not the “fake news” that perpetuates a lie about life.  The truth is liberating, but leaves us vulnerable, so we need a loving place to tell it.  

One of the functions of the church is community, a place to gather ‘round the Table, in the love of the Father, and live our story.  Is your church a loving place where people can tell their story, live authentically?   

The love of Jesus – told in the always new yet so old story of His birth, His death, His Resurrection – allows us to tell ourselves the truth and to find in Him that love that heals us and saves us.  Our natural impulse is to change our story, to conceal the ugly parts, to magnify the moments of success. Pride makes hypocrites of us. Jesus warns us about  “the yeast of the Pharisees—their hypocrisy. The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!” (Luke 12:1-3, NLT)

So, what’s your story?
Have you written a fiction about yourself that has enslaved you?
Have you believed a lie that somebody told you, a falsehood that controls you to this day?

KNOW THIS – The God Who knows you best, loves you most!   He knows our story, loves us, and invites us to leave the sins in the past and live richly, resourced by His Spirit.  John reminds that “If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts. My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely. He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world.” (1 John 1:8-2:2, NLT)

So next week, I’m looking forward to telling and hearing some stories.  My prayer is that there is a thread of faith, an echo of the love of Christ in many of them.

Here is a word from the Word, Paul encouraging us to tell the Story –  “Thanks be to God, who made us his captives and leads us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now wherever we go He uses us to tell others about the Lord and to spread the Good News like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a fragrance presented by Christ to God.” (2 Corinthians 2:13, NLT)

________________

I Love To Tell The Story
(Sung by EmmyLou Harris and Robert Duval)

I love to tell the story of unseen things above
Of Jesus and His glory of Jesus and His love
I love to tell the story because I know ’tis true
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do

I love to tell the story
‘Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old old story
of Jesus and His love

I love to tell the story more wonderful it seems
Than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams
I love to tell the story it did so much for me
And that is just the reason I tell it now to thee

I love to tell the story ’tis pleasant to repeat
What seems each time
I tell it more wonderfully sweet
I love to tell the story for some have never heard
The message of salvation from God’s own holy Word

I love to tell the story for those who know it best
Seem hungering and thirsting
To hear it like the rest
And when in scenes of glory
I sing the new new song
‘Twill be the old old story
That I have loved so long

Arabella Katherine Hankey | Don Chapman | William Gustavus Fischer

© Words: Public Domain

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