Mick’s Memo—What’s Your Story?
People are fascinating. Each person God has brought to life has a story of their own. Yesterday, Betsy and I, with our children and grandchildren, attended “Jesus” at Sight and Sound Theater near Lancaster, PA. I highly recommend it if you can find a way to take it in. It’s a life story—the greatest life story ever told. Jesus’ story of love, sacrifice, redemption and triumph is told with compelling, state-of-the-art music and drama. As I watched, I was drawn to Him. I wished everyone could have the opportunity to see and hear it.
But it was clear to me that the overwhelming majority of the people there were already aware and convinced of Jesus’ redemptive story. That didn’t make it any less inspiring to me. In fact, that makes me more determined than ever to take that story to people who won’t come to it! It makes me want to reflect on, clarify and be ready to convey the story of Jesus to anyone who is uninformed or misinformed about Him.
How can we take His story to others? It begins by connecting our story to His story, by following and serving Him. It includes caring about others’ stories the way Jesus cared. Throughout the gospels (and so well captured in the drama) we see Jesus engaging with people that everyone else was ignoring or condemning. He seemed to have a unique capacity for looking beyond appearances and seeing a valuable soul, whether they were demoniacs, adulterers, lepers or rowdy fishermen. Their story was radically changed by Jesus and became a part of their telling His story. It’s the same for us.
As we spend time with people across any background, we have an opportunity to engage with unique souls, created by and loved by God. They have a story so far that may not include any influence from Jesus. Ask them about their story. Some may be too shy or suspicious to open up much, but most people are inclined to respond. Avoid the temptation to critique, correct or “one up” them. Often they will ask you to tell some of your story. There will likely be things in common and things in contrast. Focus on the common, particularly the common things that affected your encounter with Jesus. That’s what I saw in the presentation yesterday and I see in the gospels. The very people who have been changed by Jesus tell others the story of the difference He made in their lives.
Telling the story of Jesus and His influence on us is an amazing privilege and opportunity. It would be a spiritually healthy addiction!
Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!