Just A Story?
Every time this year rolls around I hear Pastors running about trying to find the best way to tackle the Christmas Story. They know they need to “come up with” three or four sermons on the Christmas story.
So we all begin… Which individual perspective should I tell the story from? What subject should I focus upon? What illustrations should I talk about? When was the last time I used that story? Have I dusted this one off enough? I understand the woes that pastors go through with an effort to make the story fresh. It can be taxing at times, and some days just frustrating. As I was teaching a class in a far off place I was reminded of something.
I had finished teaching and a gentleman came up to me and told me how he enjoyed the class and how fascinating the story was I had taught that day. He went on to explain the parts of the story he enjoyed and how he related to the lesson. Having taught that story a million times at least, it was one of those days, I struggled through. So I had to ask. I asked what was so different about the story today. His response, “I had never heard it before.”
He goes on to tell me a little of his story. He was not raised in church. He had not heard all the Bible stories that I had taken for granted hearing forty seven thousand times. He explained that he was not saved until later in life, as adult. He felt like he had missed many stories of the Bible and was behind in knowledge so he had taken it upon himself to research and go back and just read stories of Bible. He had no idea what a flannel graph was and had no memories of hearing Bible stories in Sunday School. He was not there.
There are times of the year, like Christmas, when we spend much of our time trying to find a clever way to tell the story. The Gospel speaks – the Gospel tells the story that has been told throughout time. The story does not change and displays the power of God to change lives. There are some Sundays we just need to tell the story, nothing more, nothing less.
This time of year is the perfect time to encourage your membership to have others attend church with them as a guest. People are feeling the loss of loved ones and need comfort and care. This time of year provides a window of openness for people to come to church and the hear the story. So encourage your membership to invite and share the story.