Pastor’s Pen: God’s Story, Our Story

Once Upon a TimeIn this day and age, our families are strewn around the world. Getting everyone physically together in one place is challenging. As a result, when it happens, it’s a big deal. There will be tears, laughter, hugs and kisses. And the family will share stories.

Some of those stories will be new. The young couple announces that they are going to have a baby. Some of the stories will be old. Great-Grandfather facing hardship immigrated to this country. Some of the stories might be funny. There was that time when dad sang to mom in front of the whole restaurant. Some of the stories might be sad. Our aunt was incredibly brave as she faced Alzheimer’s.

Stories are important. They embody meaning and purpose for us. They help us find our place in the world. If you want to know what is important to a person, listen to the stories that he or she tell.

As part of God’s family, we also have stories. In fact, one could argue that the Christian faith itself is simply a story. God created a world that was good. God intended for us to live in relationship with him and with each other. Sadly something went wrong. Nonetheless God did not  allow our rebellion to change his love for us. Instead God pursued us. When the time was right, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to redeem us. Our lives are now dedicated to God living out the love and joy that he intended.

As Christians we declare that the Bible is our only rule of faith and life. It describes our obligations to God. It teaches us morality and ethics. However, the Bible does more. We are invited into God’s story. When civil rights leaders echoed Moses declaring, “Let my people go,” they were accepting that invitation. When a missionary responds personally to Jesus’ words, “Go and preach to all creation,” she is accepting the invitation. When we respond to the prophets by “Seeking the peace of the city,” we are accepting the invitation.

This year, I want to invite you into a deeper relationship with the Bible. There will be a number of opportunities to explore God’s story. The choir will be sharing it through Handel’s Messiah. Our Spiritual Enrichment Retreat will take us into the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. Through a variety of small groups, we will be exploring how we can make God’s story our own.

It all starts with Homecoming on September 13, 2015. As we gather the family, let us share our stories together.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor James