Worship with us this Sunday
8:45 AM & 10 AM | Classic Worship
in the Sanctuary at First Methodist
11:15 AM | Contemporary Worship
The Open Door at Buskirk-Chumley Theater
One of my favorite things about being a Grandpa is telling stories. Storytelling has been going on with Ella (9) and Olivia (7) since they were very little.
Often, they ask me—several times a day— to tell them a “Princess Story.” I make these up as I go along. They always begin the same way and take place in a valley with a river running through it, and a castle where two kind, strong, courageous, beautiful young women live.
I also tell them stories about things that happened to them when they were very little. I help them to remember things and moments they might be in danger of forgetting or never knowing. There are also stories about Daddy and Mommy dating, grandparents and aunts and uncles. There are stories about New Haven, Elkhart, Bloomington, Africa and Alaska.
Stories are wonderful things. There are especially wonderful stories which inspire and teach us. Especially wonderful stories that help us to see more clearly, live more fully, and put us in touch with grace and truth of God.
Do you know your story?
Do you know our story?
Do you know God’s story?
A collection of stories
God has given us a story book that can be a life-changing. We call that book the Bible. If you look around you may see one nearby, well-worn and marked up. Or your Bible may be dusty and untouched.
The truth is the Bible isn’t just one book, but a collection of sixty-six books. There are books of history, law, poetry, wisdom literature, prophecy, gospel stories (the story of Jesus), letters, and apocalyptic revelation (dealing with the end of history). There is even an epic-like poem celebrating the gift of sexual love.
The Bible is actually a library of different kinds of books.
As difficult as sections of the Bible may be to read (please don’t start reading the Bible by beginning with Leviticus!), don’t be a stranger to this collection of sixty-six God-inspired books. Don’t give up!
When all the verses and stories are taken together they become the individual notes that create a symphony celebrating the reality of a God who loves.
Not to know your story, not to know our story as God’s covenant people, and not to know the story of God, is to miss something deep, true, beautiful and good.
So keep working with the Bible.
The writer Norman Maclean said, Grace—like learning how to cast a fly fishing rod—doesn’t come easily. It takes time.
So too, does getting to know our stories.
A little help
Most people find it beneficial to get a little help with reading and understanding the Bible. They will subscribe to a Bible devotional on their smart phone, buy a good commentary where someone explains the language and meaning of the book, or participate in a Bible study.
Reading and reflecting about the Bible on our own, perhaps journaling our observations and prayers, can be a wonderful thing. For
most of us, though, reading the Bible is like soccer: it’s a team sport—a lot more fun to do with others!
The joy of knowing the story
Telling stories to my grandchildren is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world. Telling and hearing the stories is a joy.
Beneath every story, though, is love.
I communicate my love for Ella, Olivia, Max, and Grant through my hugs ,the eye contact we and the songs I sing to (and with) them. Down deep in every story I tell them, even the ones about Larry the Stable Guy, is my love for them.
That’s what comes through.
The stories change from day to day, bedtime to bedtime, but the love is inside them all.
That’s the way it is with the collection of stories in the Bible.
Remember the Valentine’s Dinner on Sunday! Reserve your tickets now at fumcb.org/valentines-form. Dinner will be served from 6-8pm in the Great Hall and all proceeds support Summer Church Camp Scholarships for our youth. Contact David with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Grace and peace,