Greetings Brothers and Sisters in Christ!
What a month! Words cannot express how thankful Debbie, Parker, Wesley, and I are at how easily and genuinely you all welcomed us into the Druid Hills family. Your notes, expressions of friendship, and kind words have been wonderful and truly appreciated.
But one of the most exciting parts of this new transition has been the stories. Everyone has been so anxious to share with me their stories, their experiences, as well as the up and down times of their lives. You see, it is through these stories that we come to know one another the best. I could read a biography of each one of you and learn about where and when you were born, where you lived and went to school, the members of your family, and where you worked. But that would not give me anywhere near a full and accurate description of who you really are. We need those stories, we need those jaw dropping, excitement building, heart breaking stories to truly understand one another. Those are the experiences that shape who we are. Those are the experiences that define how we act, what we believe, and who we are to the very core of our being.
And let me tell you I have heard some stories this past month! I have laughed with you, cried with you, and absolutely been amazed by what some of you have endured in your lifetimes. I have heard war stories from the men in ROMEOs. I have heard stories of perseverance at our weekly fellowship dinners. I have heard stories of dreams and ambitions from those I have seen and met with at other times. But the point I am trying to make is that stories are what make us unique and each and everyone one of us have a story that is distinctly different from everyone else.
Stories are not new. They have been around since the beginning of time. The Bible is composed mostly of stories or narratives. These narratives are how we have learned about Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses, Ruth, Naomi, Esther, David, Elijah, Job, Isaiah, Paul, the Apostles of Jesus, and of course Jesus himself. Not only can we learn about these people, and so many others from Scripture, but we learn about who they are and what they believed.
That is why I have spent time this past month preaching and teaching about the parables of Jesus. These stories were not only appropriate for Jesus' day but they are appropriate for us now. These stories carry a timeless message for us about how we as Christians should treat one another, love one another, and how no matter what we are facing, we can rely on the promise that the Triune God will never leave us. These stories carry so much meaning that I hope you will read them again and again and again, and let God speak to you through them. I am sure that you will get something new each time you read them if you are still before God and let God speak to you through them.
Stories are how we have passed down information since the beginning of time. Stories are what have shaped and formed who we are. Stories are how we connect with each other. This past month I have heard some grand stories! And it is through those stories I have connected with some you, gotten to know some of you, and have began to truly understand who some of you are.
So please keep those stories coming because I can never resist a good tale!
Grace and Peace,