Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I Love That Story

I Love That Story
I Samuel 1:3-20, John 8:1-11, Acts 20:7-12

Who is the best story teller that you know?

I am grateful for two family members...
My Uncle David used to gather my three cousins and I when we were young and tell wonderful stories. They often would include some bathroom reference about my cousin Ryan, which, when you are seven years old, is very funny.

My dad was the story teller of the Indian Guides tribe I was apart of growing up. I would imagine he must have gained that job because he missed an organizational meeting or something like that, but I am grateful that he did the job.

Starting in the Fall, we are going to focus on story telling:
During our Friday Bible Study: We will learn the stories of the world's major religions, and how they relate. or are different from Christianity.

During our monthly LIGHT House gatherings, we will focus on the stories of our upbringing, while looking at the Family life cycles of leaving home, becoming married, raising children and living alone.

During Sunday Worship, my sermon series this year (from Sept. to July) will be the Story of Scripture, the most important story of all.
Story of Scripture

I picked three stories for today’s sermon: admittedly random selections. Until I saw the theme that binds them together, that of the ultimate story teller: God.

Samuel: Belonging to God
John: Forgiven and set free
Acts: Go and serve

In Samuel we have the story of the birth of the prophet, and of his strong and couragous mother Hannah: out of great struggle, an answer to prayer, which was promised in a very random way, Samuel was born.

The great good that came out of this story. Hannah learned what we all need to learn: we belong to God. As Scripture reminds us again and again: you are not your own. You belong to God.

In John, we see the woman caught in a sinful act who encounters the forgiveness of Jesus. We see religion combined with selfishness is sick. Jesus offers a different way. And with Jesus, once you meet him, it can’t be back to normal. Forgiveness sets free with new life, Christ’s life.

In Acts, we read a crazy story of a man falling down 3 flights of house after listening to Paul go "on and on and on" during a late night teaching with the believers of Ephesus. I was thinking about how boring Paul must have been to this young kid who fell asleep in the window sill. But whether or not something like this happened to us (my money is on it not having happened to you or I), the point of acts is that the Gospel story is so compelling it drives those who embrace and believe it. Paul taught because he believed. He went to serve because of his faith, a faith that had transformed him.

Ultimately, God is the story teller: of history, of the cosmos, and also of our lives.
God is the beginning.
God is sovereign: present and working for the world.
God takes the end and gives it a new beginning.

Today, we belong to God. Today is a chance to be forgiven and set free. Today’s call is to go and serve.

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