“Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears, for they hear.”
– Matthew 13:16
In the weeks and months ahead of this coming year, we’re going to be telling our story. In a variety of ways, we’ll start piecing together all the elements that make up this grand tale that is our story. The characters, the plot lines, the settings, the suspenseful moments, the times of heartache and the times of joy, the long-boring stretches and the action-packed sequences.
All of it, together, will be woven so as to tell our story. And it should be no surprise to a bunch of folks that gather regularly to be the church, that, our story is told along side God’s story too. We can’t really tell one without telling the other too. God’s story is central to our story and our story is central to God’s.
But (spoiler alert!) there’s a third story that woven in with ours and with God’s too. It’s our neighbor’s story, the neighbor sitting next to us, the neighbor living across the street from us, the neighbor living on the other side of the world from us. Our neighbor’s story also has to be told in order that we might see the bigger picture and hear the fuller narrative. And as we tell the stories, we want to keep weaving our story and God’s story and our neighbor’s story ever more closely together. Woven together so tightly, in fact, that you can’t really distinguish one story from the other. Because this, all of this, is the same story, remove any thread, (ours, God’s, or our neighbors) and the story will unravel, the story will lose its shape and its beauty and its strength.
So let’s tell this 3-fold story. And to help us along the way, we’re using a new “lectionary.” A “lectionary” is what we follow to determine the scripture readings that are engaged on any particular Sunday of the church year. The “Narrative Lectionary” is designed so that it helps to tell the biblical story while at the same time still following along with the liturgical calendar. The most significant element of the Narrative Lectionary’s design is that it keeps the reading in chronological order. We start this fall with the oldest stories from Genesis in the Old Testament and finish next spring with the New Testament writings of Paul to the early church.
The story that starts today will take many twists and turns. We’ll be re-introduced to some old friends and we may even discover a new character or two along the way. As the rainbow in our sanctuary attests, through it all God will be faithful even though humankind will keep losing its way. This is especially good news for a creation that we have the responsibility to help in caring for.
We’re excited about lots of things in the weeks and months ahead. We’re excited for Rally Sunday to help us launch into this year with some real energy and more than a little fun. We’re excited to have Pastor Betsy joining us in ministry soon, bringing all her gifts to bear as we collaborate and co-conspire to build up this church for the sake of this world that God loves so deeply. And we’re excited to be here with you, telling our story. Thanks be to God!