Friday, June 14, 2013
Christianity is basically a story religion. It is the story of God calling the Jewish people, making them his own, and sending them a Messiah. That story expands when the story of Jesus becomes the story for all people and not only a story for the Jewish people. This Jesus Story is the story of his life, death, and resurrection. The story of the church is, in part, a story beginning with the first disciples. Then it winds its way through 2,000+ years until the character that is us stands on the stage.
There are “Signature Stories” along the way – the life of Christ, the Reformation, The Great Awakening, the Azusa St. Revival, etc., things that are defining moments in the life of God’s people.
Each of us has a personal Signature Story, a piece of personal history that is a defining moment in making us the Christian man or woman we are.
My Signature Story could be one of several events, each one building on the one before. However, since these are connected it seems best to begin with the one that lays the foundation for everything else that happened, that event which is essential; the story that, if left out, probably destroys the whole plot.
God blessed me by placing me in a family with two believing parents who made it their priority to put me in a pew each and every Sunday, who did not just drop me off for Sunday School, but made sure the whole family was there, and who made sure I was able to take advantage of every opportunity for Christian growth that was available. Faith was a family event.
Now, I am not speaking poorly of anyone who was dropped off for Sunday school or those whose spiritual interest was not supported by believing parents. I know many people of tremendous faith who did not have their faith taught to them at home. I just know myself, and, fortunately, my Heavenly Father knew me as well and gave me what I needed for the Gospel faith to take root in my soul.
The other story we all have is a Horizon Story. The Horizon Story for Christianity extends forward until that event where Jesus rolls up all of history like a scroll and puts it on the shelf as a finished story.
My Horizon Story is to continue on the well-worn track on which God has placed me, a small church pastor. I have spoken to 5,000 people before, and, yes, it is kind of interesting. However, that is not the ministry to which God has called me. I grew up in a small church, I have attended small churches most of my life, and God has called us into relationships. A relationship is not easy when the person you are speaking to may be a couple hundred feet from the platform and in the middle of a sea of nameless faces.
Now, the purpose of this is not just to get you to know my stories. The purpose is to get you to think about and share your own. I would love to hear your Signature and Horizon Stories. Please stop by and share them with me. AMEN.