Tag Archives: story

The Great Librarian

I still remember story time at the library when I was a little girl. We would all gather round the librarian. She would sit on a small stool, and we would sit on little pieces of carpet all around her. She would read a story, and we would look at the pictures. She read the page and held the book up so we could all look at the picture, and then the page would turn, and then there was more of the story. As she read, it seemed like the room fell away, the children around me fell away, even the librarian fell away, and I was falling into the story. All I could see and feel and hear was the story. The book closing was an abrupt end to that little adventure in storyland.

Stories have the ability to draw us in, to carry us on. Stories that are real, that tell our history, are the most powerful stories. They remind us who we have been and who we are and who we can be. Refugees coming to this country hold on to stories carefully. A person who was well respected and established in their home country, suddenly becomes a nobody in a new country. They are displaced, disheartened, deprived of the ability to easily communicate. They often live in poverty. Stories are what hold them together, even when they are disregarded or treated with disrespect. They hold on carefully to the story of who they have been, who they are and who they can be.

This Sunday we’ll be talking about the power of the gospel story, particularly the gospel story told by Luke, the beloved physician. Take time to read Luke chapter 1 before you come to church. What adventure is beginning with this chapter? What does it say about who you have been, who you are and who you can be? I can’t wait to fall into the story and find out!

This week’s prayer: God, you are the Great Librarian, the Keeper of so many books, the Reader who tells the story we most need to hear. Draw us in to your story this week.

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The specialist in family drama

We all know Joseph, the guy with the coat and the big dreams. And we know about his brothers, the ones who hated their kid brother enough to throw him into a pit and then sell him as a slave to Egypt. They topped their violent act with lies and bloody fabric-ations.

It seems easy to see what went wrong in that story from Genesis 37. But as with so many stories in scripture, and in our lives, there is more to the story than meets the eye.

I invite you to come to church this Sunday with a story of your own in mind. Bring a story of a broken relationship; it doesn’t matter if that relationship has been healed or not. I can think of a number of broken relationships I’ve had, with friends or family members or ex-family members.

Part of being a Christian involves looking for God in the stories of our lives. Where is God working? Where are we turning away from God? God gives us eyes to see the grace in even the most painful of stories. Sometimes it takes a year or a decade or a lifetime to see clearly. Graceful stories are rarely simple stories, with one hero and one victim, one cause and one effect, one right and one wrong.

God can take the most messy family drama, with a cast of twelve brothers and one sister and one father and four mothers and a pharaoh, spread it over two countries and twenty years, throw in some hatred, deceit and vengeance…God can take even this story and find an ending which has some grace in it.

Maybe this Sunday we’ll find some of that in our own stories.

God, you’re a specialist in family dramas, in broken relationships of all kinds. Help us this week to be open to hearing old stories told in new ways.

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