I love a good story whether that story is in a best seller, on television, in news articles or even passed on by the oral tradition; I love a good story.
My favorite authors are John Grisham, Nicholas Sparks, Pat Conroy, and almost anyone who tells a story about the South. I enjoy hearing the "way it used to be" and I enjoy hearing the hopes and dreams of all the characters. I get caught up in the drama of the written word and find myself dreaming and wondering, "What if that were me?" I am sad when the story ends.
Television allows the story to come with the aid of others' interpretation of how the flow and action occur. While it takes away the power of my own mind to set the stage, I do have the advantage of seeing my character friends (or villains) face first. I have really become a Netflix addict by finding one show and watching it to its completion.
My nephew Dustin turned me on to Flipboard. Flipboard is an app for my iPhone where I can get the most current news from around the world or locally. I also get to pick my favorite magazines to see the most up-to-date information regarding health, celebrities, religion, and faith.
The oral tradition of passing on stories by word of mouth is also a very powerful way to hear a good story. I have enjoyed being a pastor and listening to many a member share their life and faith stories. I can see how they have become the person they are, and it develops a love between us.
I am surrounded by a story every where I go and every where I look. The old fashion hardback in hand or modern technology of a remote or tablet make the story always accessable. I realize with such ease that not all stories are good and at times some stories are abused.
When we abuse a good story it can become a cheap dime novel or it can simply be gossip. Gossip is not a good story; it is a distortion of the facts that may or may not be accurate to the truth. Gossip is about me looking good and me having power and me having something you don't have. Gossip tears up and never builds up, not even for the teller.
As pastors we have a task to tell the Story for some have never heard and others simply love to hear it over and over. I pray we stay faithful to our task as the Story Tellers and never slip into gossip about the church, other pastors, our next appointment (or someone else's new appointment!), about church politics, or other exciting stories that might catch us an audience for the moment or make us look good. Our story is God's Story, and we must with integrity, honesty, and great passion tell the Story.
Remember it's God's Story we tell.
Blessings as you share the Word this week,
It was a great joy yesterday to preach in the LaGrange District at Senoia UMC for their Homecoming. Great food and fellowship. Dale Smith picked up our guests from Portugal who are attending License to Preach School. Pray for Sebastian and Marcelo as they study to become local pastors in the Portuguese Methodist Church, our Bridge Partner.