Tell me a Stoy
227 Church View Drive - Kingsport, Tn. 37664
13th Sunday after Pentecost
"Count the Cost of Carrying the Cross"
14th Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon –" Parable of Being Found"
12th Sunday after Pentecost
Luke 14:1, 7-14
Sermon –"A Seat at the Table"
15th Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon –" Who Do You Serve?"
What does it mean to follow Jesus, all the way, not just when it’s convenient? Jesus says we have to hate our families. Does he really mean it? Come this Sunday as we talk about what it means to follow Jesus – not just his example, but his invitation.
Just another story about Jesus hanging around with the wrong kind of people, and getting called on it by the religious leaders of the day. And his response is in parable form of what it is like to be found after being lost, and how heaven rejoices.
A household manager gets called to his boss’s office to give an accounting for how he’s handled the estate funds. What would you do? Come this Sunday, as Jesus tells a parable of such a manager who came up with a creative solution. Was it a good idea or not? Come this Sunday and find out!
Ever been to a party, like a wedding reception, and wondered where to sit? Jesus has some suggestions, and tells a parable to illustrate. He takes it a step farther, and offers guidance for how we are to treat one another. And how much it matters. We will be celebrating the Lord’ Supper as well.
16th Sunday after Pentecost
5th Sunday Hymn Sing
After we experienced a service of worship in song way back in June, we heard that was such a hit, we’re going to do it again! Come this Sunday and let’s sing praises to our God!
When my children were young, they loved stories. Tell me a story, they’d say. They especially enjoyed the ones that began with “Once upon a time…” and went on to tell them about their babyhood and toddler years. Often the stories could be quite silly, and ended up with giggly snuggles that let them know that they were wanted and loved. Sometimes, the mom in me would attempt to tell a story with a moral, trying to encourage better behavior in them. They would have none of that. Even as I was getting out the ‘once upon a time’, they would interrupt me with “The End!” and that was that. I had to find a different way.
We all have stories to tell. I am convinced that there are no uninteresting lives, and there are a lot of stories that haven’t yet been told. We all come from different places with different backgrounds, sometimes even when we are from the same family. We are unique! My brother and sister are just under 4 years apart in age – and I’m in between them. Yet we were all born in different towns in Missouri. Mark was born after my dad got out of the service and while he was finishing college in Kirksville. I was born in Jefferson City after Dad got his first job post-college. And Phyllis was born in Hannibal after Dad took a job with the Social Security Administration. He worked for them until he retired, but the moving didn’t stop. I went to elementary school in Hannibal, and finished it in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I attended junior high in Independence, Kansas, and graduated from high school back in Hannibal, MO.
If you talk to either of my siblings, we will have similar stories of our childhood and teen years. However, we were each at different ages when we moved, and they are not me, so we all have our own perspective. Stories from those years that I remember one way will likely have a completely different telling from them. And I’m sure Mom and Dad will remember and tell something altogether otherwise about the same events.
One thing that story-telling requires is story-listening. We are losing our ability to follow a tale told without pictures. To not just hear, but to hear with understanding, requires the gift of our full attention. A rare thing indeed these days. It is how we share our lives. We gather together and take turns telling our stories. We tell stories to amuse and amaze. We tell stories to teach lessons. We tell our stories at some risk. For to tell our stories is to dare to be vulnerable. We tell stories anyway. It may be as simple as, “Let me tell you what happened at work today.” Or more complex, “Let me tell you what’s happened to me since I was diagnosed with cancer.”
As a pastor, I hear a lot of stories of pain, mixed with shame and hurt. I treasure those stories and feel the weight of trust given to me by the teller. of turning stories of unbearable pain and loss into narrations that have been redeemed by God’s grace and leading toward wholeness. And, as a pastor, one of my hopes is that I can help people begin the healing process
Jesus told lots of stories. We call them parables. He used parables to get his message across in ways that people would relate to. He told farming parables to people of the land – a farmer went out to sow some seed. And helped people see what the kingdom of God was like. As followers of Jesus, we tell stories of Jesus’ mercy and grace in our lives, and the hope that lives in us because of God’s redeeming love. We tell God’s story that begins ‘In the beginning…’ with Genesis and continues throughout time and history to today and forever. You may not think of yourself as a storyteller, but our very lives do tell at least part of our story and in the process, God’s story.
So, the next time someone asks you, “Will you tell me a story?”, how will you respond? It could be as simple as, “Once upon a time…Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so.” May we become better story-listeners, too.
Grace and peace,