Summary: Tell the Story, Part 1 reminds followers of Christ the story we tell is God’s story, from the Bible, and can be rejected or accepted by those who hear it. Based on Matthew 2:1-12, Tell the Story, Part 1 gleans from the story of the wisemen the truths of
TELL THE STORY, PART 1
Matthew 2:1-12 NIV
1After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[a] from the east came to Jerusalem 2and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east[b] and have come to worship him."
3When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ[c] was to be born. 5"In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6" ’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’[d]"
7Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
9After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east[e] went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
TELLING THE STORY OF OUR LIVES
If I were to ask you today to tell me a story from your life, what would you tell? Of course, most of us don’t remember when we were born, but we could tell the stories that our mother and father told us about that event. Or we could tell some endearing story from our childhood. Every time we had ham slices with the bone in -- you know the round bone -- my mother would tell the story of the time I got to eat steak, which they told me was T-bone steak. Now we didn’t eat steak that often, so I guess it stuck in my little preschool brain. So one day not long after that when she served ham, I asked if it was "O-bone" steak. Which my mother thought was quite clever and charming, which is what mothers are supposed to think of their little children.
But, back to my question -- what story would you tell me from your life? Well, this month we’re going to focus on our church theme for 2008. You remember our theme in 2007, which was our sesquicentennial year, was "Praise for the past, faith for the future."
This year our theme is very simple -- "Tell the story. Invite others. Bless the world." I’ll explain what I mean by each of these during this month, and today we start with "Tell the story."
Now, when I first thought about this theme, I thought I might need to leave the lectionary texts for the month of January in order to kick off the year talking about our theme. But after I read the texts for this month, I thought they couldn’t be better, because each week the scripture readings actually highlight one part of our theme. For the next two weeks we focus on "Tell the story."
When you read the Old and New Testaments, there are two things you notice. First, the Bible is mostly stories. Of course, there are some things that aren’t stories, like the Ten Commandments, but even the Ten Commandments come to us wrapped in the story of how they got from God to Moses and finally the people. Old and New Testaments contain the stories of God and his people.
Which is the second thing I want you to notice about the stories -- God’s people told them over and over. In the Old Testament, the primary story was of the Exodus, the story of God delivering His people from slavery. That’s still the dominant story in Jewish life today, and they tell that story with the coming of every Sabbath and Passover.
In the New Testament, Jesus tells the stories to the disciples and others who will listen. He used parables -- stories drawn from real life -- to illustrate the work of God in God’s world. After Jesus returns to the Father, the disciples tell the story of Jesus as the first century church begins. God’s people know they are God’s people because they tell the stories of God and find themselves in those stories. Today we’re going to look at one story as we think about telling the story this year.