April 19, 2020: “Tell a story…”

(This post is ‘in progress,’ more details to be added and it will be posted on Facebook, where you can leave comments.)

In her April 19 sermon, which begins at minute 33 on the Facebook video, Pastor Jenny Smith Walz, spoke about the first chapter of John. She referred to Science Mike, Mike McHargue, who explains how our brains help us survive and thrive. They take all the bits of information that come to us and organize them into stories, creating order from chaos. This helps our brains be more efficient. If we aren’t given stories, our brains make up stories, and this is both beautiful and dangerous. The unhelpful stories might be based on your brain’s ‘tape” that was recorded when a parent or teacher told you something that defined you, not in a good way.  We need really good stories to  help us make meaning out of the world we live in. We need “God-written stories” not tapes that need to be transformed through the Resurrection story.

Another birth story of Jesus is in John 1. Jesus is making an appearance in the Flesh. And we are in that story. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”

Pastor Jenny quoted Walter Brueggeman:  “The words with which we praise God will shape the world in which we live.”

“Not only do God’s words create, but our words create.  God has ‘wired us’  to create stories. When we tell our stories we are co-creating with God. We are creating the world in which we live, and the words with which we praise God shape the world in which we live.”

Jesus’ parables are stories that not only describe the Kingdom of God, they create the Kingdom of God

The more we understand our story as one that is in line with God’s story, that we are co-creators of the kingdom of God, the more our lives can shine bright like the light that God created at the very beginning. Our stories create the world we live in. We are not at the mercy of God’s story, the story that is being written about the world. We are coauthors with God.

What is your defining story? How do you tell God’s story? How do you tell your life’s story?

“Tell me a story of your beginning…” asks Pastor Jenny. Her own favorite story about her beginnings is Psalm 139: God knit us together in our mother’s womb. . .

A favorite hymn: Tell me the stories of Jesus

(On the comments page, Joseph Paun recommended The Hope of Glory, by Jon Meacham)

Ida Cahill introduced the “Above and Beyond” campaign and offered a way to give offerings online. 

Christ arose! Low in the grave he lay was the closing hymn.

The complete service is being posted on Facebook . 

The sermon is from minutes 33 to 50.