20 Dec “A Story to Tell” by Melissa Mitchell
It seems that most people love a good story. Whether it is a book to read, a movie to watch, or a tale to listen to, there is something compelling about a story. Good versus evil, the triumph over trouble, rooting for your favorite character… I’ve noticed that even in church when one of the speakers starts to share a personal tidbit from their past, listeners tend to sit up straighter, lean forward a little bit more- we are drawn in to want to learn more.
As we celebrate Christmas time we are reminded of the greatest story of all. The Story. The story of God’s great love for His people – His love is so overwhelming that He sent his son to earth. This is the story that changes lives.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
This story has it all! Good guys, bad guys, exotic settings, kids, animals, supernatural beings and surprises on every page. I think that is part of what makes Christmas time so special, the Christmas story is so very precious and unexpected.
The Bible is full of stories. The biggest story is God’s great love for His people and His redemptive plan. Embedded in the Bible are hundreds of smaller stories that fit into the overall theme. Jesus often taught in stories, known as parables. We learn a lot in the Bible about people just like us, people who fail and who are forgiven, people who turn away from God, and those who want to follow Him.
We all have a story to tell. Everyone around us has a story. A story of good and bad, a story of triumph and failure. If we take the time to listen to people’s stories we may be surprised by what we discover. Especially the stories of those that may be tough to love. The noisy neighbor, the grumpy coworker, the impatient boss, the homeless person on the corner – they all have stories. Stories that have helped create the person that they are. Do we take time to listen to the stories that they have to tell?
My prayer is that as we listen to the stories of those around us, our heart for God will grow and our compassion for others will blossom as well. The more we hear what others have to say, the more our understanding will increase.
This reminds me of another Christmas story – How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Once the Grinch listened to the Whos and understood who they are, the story continued: And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then – the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of *ten* Grinches, plus two!