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There is an often-asked question among theologians: Does the Bible tell of humanity’s response to God or of God’s response to humanity? The obvious answer is: both. Yet theologians enjoy debating this kind quandary, right up there with how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Although I went to seminary, and have a Master’s Degree in Divinity, I am not a theologian. I appreciate what theologians do, but I am a pastor through and through. To me, this means that I don’t spend too much time evaluating the nuances of theological specificities. What I love is the story.

We come to tell the story.

I love your story. I love hearing about how God has worked in your life. I love listening to your stories of faith. Were you born into a Christian family? Did you come to faith at a later age? What drew you to God? To the church? Or what drew you back after a time away? What is your favorite book, or chapter, or verse in the Bible? Where have you met Jesus in your life? What God moments did you experience today? This week? This month?

All of these stories, all of your stories, are part of The Story that we share together as a community of faith.

We come to tell the story.

We are a people of The Story. We learn from the story of Abraham to trust when all seems lost. We learn from the story of David that sometimes the little guy wins. We learn from the story of Nicodemus that it is okay to question Jesus in the dark of night. We learn from the story of Paul that no matter how bad or how plentiful our sins, God can use us.

And, most of all, we learn from the story of Jesus that this life is not the end of The Story. There is more to look forward to, that we can’t even begin to imagine.

We come to tell the story.

Some people look at the pastor, in robe and stole, and imagine that she or he has everything figured out, is the perfect spiritual person, can quote the Bible chapter and verse, and prays twenty four hours a day.

Now I know you know that’s not true. We’ve been together long enough for you to see my cracks and foibles.   Just as I hope your faith is sustained by some of the things I share on Sunday mornings, my faith is sustained by your stories.   The Bible is not a book of history. It is a book of living stories of which we get to be apart. Among you I’ve witnessed amazing acts of generosity, gentle acts of kindness, moments of deep despair, feats of courage, seasons of terrible grief, and surprising moments of grace. Among you I know the story lives on.

We are people of the story. We are the story.

We come to tell the story.