If I had to guess, I would guess that my family is not the only one that has stories. You know those stories, the ones that almost always get told whenever the family gets together. We’ve all heard them time after time after time. I’ve heard them so many times that I could tell them myself. Even the stories that don’t directly involve me, the details are so clear in my mind’s eye I feel as if I was there. I can picture the family camping trips that my parents took during their childhood and the mischief that they and their siblings got into. I can imagine the weddings, funerals, family meals and adventures. I can imagine the laughter, tears, excitement and fear in their stories because of the richness (and repetitiveness) with which they are told.
These family stories have played a role in shaping who I am. These shared experiences and family values have impacted how I see the world, what I find value in and the decisions I make. The stories that have been told time and time and time again have worked their way into my being. They have become my stories too…
For me, the church family is very similar. We have some stories that get told time and time and time again. We’ve all heard the stories and more than likely could share them with others ourselves.
This is Holy Week and we will be gathering together to share some very familiar stories. Together we share the stories of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter. You may have heard the stories before. You might even be able to picture them clearly in your mind’s eye: cheering crowds waving palm branches, a dimly lit room with a group gathered around a table to share a meal, an angry crowd at a trial, a painful walk, the bearing of an enormous burden of a cross and the meeting of the risen Christ outside of an empty tomb.
These are the stories that have the opportunity to shape who we are and how we live. These are familiar stories that we tell again and again. They form our identity as Christians. They work their way into our lives, change the ways that we view the world around us and orient us toward love, grace and community.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear these stories one more time. Let them become your stories too.