My son has a new favorite activity. He comes and curls up in my lap and says those beautiful words:
“Tell me a story…”
He is three. So, sometimes he asks for stories about Lightning McQueen and Spiderman (Spiderman has been cool for a long time now!). Sometimes he asks for stories about the people he loves. And sometimes, he asks for stories that we read from the Bible. Sometimes, he even likes to tell me the story. There’s nothing quite so endearing as when he describes when Goliath goes “BOOM.”
Stories are powerful. They teach us and inspire us. They help us know who we are and where we come from. They can keep us from doing wrong and they can stir us to strive towards things that are higher, better, and purer.
The best story ever told – the central story of scripture in fact – is so great that there are not just one but four accounts of it: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Each one enriches, rather than diminishes, our view of Jesus.
But of course, these aren’t mere biographies – the gospel story, the gospel message, demands a response. This is not some nice anecdote that we can lay aside when we are finished perusing it.
These are living words. They hold truth that changes us utterly. And if we remain unchanged, our eternal destinies are at stake.
And that is why we must tell this story. Why we must retell and then retell it again. We are a people who are called and changed to a new life. And yet, we are so good at forgetting. At becoming distracted, weary, and wounded. At letting opportunity slip. Scripture speaks plainly and reminds us… to remember:
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. ~ Revelation 2:5
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. ~ John 14:26
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” ~ Luke 22:19
So, in the words of Fanny Crosby and in the spirit of a little child, we can say:
And then in turn, we can tell that most beautiful, most precious story to the rest of the world.