Story! We all have a story. Our lives our filled with individual moments that make up our greater story, and our story is often deeply intertwined with the stories of those around us. The Cambridge English Dictionary says that story is:
A description, either true or imagined, of a connected series of events.
Whatever form story takes, one of the truths of telling stories is that there is a point of connection within each story. I have often used story in my teaching and speaking, because unlike relating a series of facts, we can often find ways to relate to characters within a story and we connect with them and the events. I remember one time I was speaking at a church and I told them I was going to tell them a story that I had written, and I told it from the first person narrative. The story was an amalgamation of a number of different people's story into one character, and the story was so compelling to some that they actually thought it was my story. In fact I ended up getting some backlash from people who were upset that the story wasn't true about me.
For those of us who grew up in the church, and I know that is not everyone, we grew up hearing certain stories. We heard about Jonah and the whale (or big fish). We heard about David and Goliath, or Moses, or Daniel in the Lion's Den, or Noah and the ark. We often heard the kid-friendly version of these stories, and many of us have never gone back and actually looked at these stories.
For the next ten weeks we are going to look at some of these stories, and see what we can take away from them. Jesus in his teaching used stories and parables often. Sometimes they defused situations. Sometimes they ticked people off. Sometimes they brought people together. Always they reflected the reality of life.
Our stories matter. God has put us here on earth to live lives of purpose. As we journey through these stories together may we see that God used ordinary women and men to do extraordinary things. May we find the value of our own stories.