One night it was dark and dreary and all the men were sitting around the campfire. One of the men turned to Bill and said, “Bill, tell us a story.” And so Bill began, “one night it was dark and dreary and all the men were sitting around the campfire. One of the men turned to Bill and said, “Bill, tell us a story. And so Bill began …”
I have probably heard this story thousands of times throughout my life. It is my grandpa’s story. He learned it from it his dad. Every time any of us ever asked for a story this is what we got. And for some reason each time he started to retell his story we’d gather in and listen intently as if it was the first time we’d ever heard it. Every generation of my family has shared this story often. It has been told at scout camp, around campfires, at slumber parties, Bible camp and on team buses for generations, in several states and multiple countries. We tell it over and over again even though it’s an old story that’s not particularly profound or scary or funny or exciting, but because it is our story.
This reminds me of God’s Story. We keep sharing the same story of God’s unbelievable, undeniable love for the whole world again and again because it is our story. The context may change a bit or a few details as each storyteller adds their personal stories but the inclusive message of God’s grace and forgiveness doesn’t ever change. God’s Story is one that we can count on; it shapes and forms us.
We are engaged by God’s Story and as we live out our faith we share this simple, yet profound story in much of what we do here at Gethsemane. Every time we worship together, have Bible study or fellowship time, whenever we meet for exercise group, quilting, choir practice, to serve a funeral luncheon or provide food for those without we are sharing in God’s Story.
This month we have two special opportunities to share God’s Story beyond the walls of Gethsemane. On May 19-20 we will be sharing the story through our efforts in Community Days of Service as we gather with folks from many different congregations to participate in acts of service within and around Hopkins. And again on May 20 as we gather in our parking lot for the Driven to Serve event we are sharing the story of outreach and hospitality to the community that we call home. Please join with us in these efforts to share God’s Story in the community.
On a personal note, on a recent trip to Arizona we had the opportunity to spend a little time with my sweet grandpa. He suffers from Alzheimer’s and didn’t recognize any of us. But when my girls asked for a story grandpa said, “One night it was dark and dreary…” and we all sat and listened to grandpa tell his old story without missing a word. Some stories are just like that – they take hold of us at the very core and don’t let go, no matter what.
God’s story does that. And it’s our story to share!