So there's this conference going on this week called Story 09. Seeing lots of cool comments on Twitter about it. Funny how it coincides with my devotional that I'm bringing on Friday morning at Greenville Rescue Mission.
My life is a story, so is yours. We write it but we don't write it alone.
I love how Jesus used stories when he taught. He found that stories reach people in a way that a systematic theology never can. The religious rulers of His day had been trying the systematic route for hundreds of years; isn't it ironic that they with the most knowledge completely missed the Messiah! Sadly, biblical knowledge is still the name of the game in many of our congregations and we are playing with people's lives! How awesome it is to see God raise up churches that are working to master the art of story-telling. Nothing seems to move us more than hearing the amazing work of God in each others lives as related by story, whether verbally, musically or pictorially.
Jesus invites us into the story that He is writing. I LOVE the account in John 4 when Jesus purposely travels to a region usually shunned by the Jewish community - Samaria. Jesus loved the people of Samaria (as indicated by His using a Samaritan character in one of His stories:The Good Samaritan) and was ready to get the healing process started between Judah and what were the rebellious intermarrying tribes of old Israel.
The woman that he encountered at Jacob's well was drawn into conversation with Jesus (Read Here) and what caught my eye like never before and prompted me to know this was the passage to share with the guys on Friday was this: "No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it. The woman took the hint and left." We've ALL experienced that! These guys at the Mission are exteme examples of people shunned by society but we have at times shared that common experience with them.
On the flip-side, how many times have I turned people away with a look? Jesus' plans are to give people a "future and a hope". He wants to write our story with us. If I don't love my neighbor (everyone) as the Good Samaritan did, then I may be aiding Satan's authoring of people's story.
So who are you letting co-author your story?