The Story of Scripture: Do I Have a Story for You! 5/27/11
II Peter 1:16-21, Matthew 13:1-23, Matthew 20:1-16
Rod Stewart sang that Every picture tells a story.
Stories are all around us.
--the shirt you have on your back has a story. It was made, it came from somewhere, the person that made it has a story, there was a story involved with you buying it…it might not be memorable, but there is a story.
--I went to a website called great stories.com. Admittedly, I am not sure if they were great stories or not, but I will read to the congregation one that I found interesting.
God says to us: Do I have a story for you!!!
God has a story for us: It is the gospel story: which means, Good news. The way the gospel story makes its way into our story is called the journey of discipleship. It is filled with grace.
We are a story ourselves: our lives tell a story. They are lived and interact alongside other stories.
We often tell stories, they capture the imagination.
There are true stories, and made up stories. Some stories are filled with intricate details, and in other stories, details are negotiable, and can be stretched.
Faith, though, is not a made up story and doesn’t need any details to be stretched. Peter writes, “When we told you about Jesus, we didn’t make up a clever story…we saw it ourselves…and we told it to you.
This story that he and the other disciples saw, he advises his readers: You will do well to pay attention to it! If you saw a light in a dark place, you would pay attention, right? If you saw a bright star on your journey in the black of night, you would pay attention!
In our year long story of Scripture, the Easter season marked the arrival of Jesus in the story. We have focused on him during the 7 weeks of Easter.
Jesus: Fully God and human, teacher, healer, miracle worker, story teller.
We have all heard of the Roman Catholic idea of the 7 Deadly Sins:
Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride
This story presents 7 Graceless Errors
Assumption: “they expected to receive more” v10
Complaint “When they received it they began to grumble” v11
Comparison “You have made them equal to us who have borne” v12
Forgetting one’s agreement “Friend, I am not being unfair to you” v13
Inappropriate Meddling “Don’t I have the right” v14
Jealousy “Are you envious because I am generous?” v15
Entitlement “So the last will be first and the first last” v16
Fascinating thing about stories: we identify with characters…when Jesus tells parables, it is to stretch our imaginations. We are not the worker hired in the first hour, we are 11th hour workers. In the prodigal son, we are not the elder son who has been diligent, we are the younger son who has wasted.
In Jesus Christ, we have the image of the God of grace.
· The knowledge of the kingdom of heaven secrets has been given v11
· Whoever has will be given more (the context is knowledge) v12
· Left to ourselves, we are hearing, but not understanding, seeing, but not perceiving, hardened hearts, closed off to God v14-15
· We are blessed by God, for our eyes can see and our ears can hear the gospel v16
· Generations before Christ had longed to experience the Messiah, to see and know, and we that live after his coming, we can have eyes of faith and grace to know. V17
· TODAY: sown seed doesn’t have to fall on rocky soil, shallow soil, weed-filled soil. Our hearts today can be good soil. Crops 100, 60, 30 fold can grow. We can be fruitful.
All of these things speak to the grace of God. We don’t deserve them. With honor, dignity and integrity, we live before God and experience the grace that has been given to us.
Memorial Day Weekend
We are Christians, that is our most important title. We are also spouses, Fathers, mothers, siblings, nieces/nephews, friends and neighbors. These are incredibly important titles. This weekend, we also remember that another name we call ourselves is American.
In the midst of celebrations tomorrow, what can you do to honor the intent of Memorial day?
Prayer for leadership
Peace with Neighbor
Priorities as citizens
God speaks to each one of us today, and proclaims, Do I have a story for you!
The question is: Am I open to being a character in that story?