Dear First Pres Family,
My youngest daughter, Abigail, is now a senior in college. Just the other day… she was in third grade… and she wrote a really good story. She created it drawing on things that were interesting to her. Things like basketball and Michael Jordan. She also wrote herself into the story. She used her imagination and had fun with it. Abigail composed it as her entry into a Chicago TV news station’s Little Author’s contest. She actually won the Chicagoland competition. Her prize was being on the morning news with Tamron Hall and David Novarro. Her mother and teacher were also on with her and they were hosted for a fancy lunch. (Yours truly was not so center stage.) We were so proud of her efforts and enjoyed participating in the joy of it all with her.
On Sunday I shared a bit of a story, too. It was not prize winning. But it was presented in an uncommon manner for a sermon. I shared the whole message from the perspective of a biblical character telling a bit of his story. I even wore a very uncreative costume. It was a single bed sheet wrapped around me (a bit like a sling that some mothers carry their babies in.) You’ll not see that visual online, but if you happened to miss on Sunday, you can listen to it here. It was Labor Day weekend; so a few folks seemed to be somewhere else.
I have two thoughts for you on this idea of story.
First is that we would serve ourselves well by sometimes reading the biblical narrative and inserting ourselves into the story. If we do, it can come alive for us in a fresh way. For example, select a character. Any will do, including that of just an observer of the story. Then prayerfully enter into it as you read. What did it feel like to be that character? What did you notice in the story that you perhaps didn’t before? Most importantly, how did you encounter God or Jesus in the reading of his Word? Much of the scripture is narrative; it is story. I encourage you to allow the gift of God’s story to work in your heart and to intersect with your story.
Second is that we would do well to slow down and recognize that our great God has created a grand script – an epic story. It should deeply humble us to know that he has invited us to be a part of that story with him. Yes, we are all minor characters in that story. Yet nonetheless, the God of the entire universe has beckoned us to participate. Indeed our mighty God has written a part for us in that story. We are privileged to be a small part of something incredibly big: God’s most wonderful story.
Grateful to be in that story with each of you in this life-giving church community,
Associate Pastor for Congregational Care
P.S. It is September my friends at FPGE. Whether it’s a small group, Faith Builders, Spark, TNT, Inferno or any other great way to engage in relationship with others, please jump in. The water is certainly more than fine. The water is refreshing. Take a risk and develop some new relationships or deepen the ones you have. Reach out to someone who needs a friend. Invest yourself where you can hear the stories of others and you can share your own story. And dig into God’s story together.