Imagine a campfire, flames leaping into the air, sparks popping and crackling from the wood fueling the blaze. The night sky spreads out overhead, the twinkling of stars dotting the stygian canvas. All around is the cimmerian curtain which has fallen, denying Helios for a time.
Around the false sun, a small band of relatives has arranged itself, some reclining on blankets others sitting on the ground and still others milling about. It is not quite time for sleep, but not a time to wander far from the relative safety of the light. Someone, probably a child or a mother trying to settle a child who refuses sleep, asks for a story.
Every tribe, band, group, or family has a caretaker of these, the keeper and teller of lore. The stories are life, for they tell of the lives of the family and the people the family is a part of. The storyteller, usually an elder member of the tribe, offers entertainment, wisdom, advice, understanding, and many other tools of life from their tales.
We may or may not realize it, but as follows of Jesus the Nazarene, we are members of that great guild of storytellers. We are keepers of the Christian lore, bearers of the true message, tellers of the tales of God. We bear the truth behind these stories in our lives but we have the responsibility of carrying the stories with us to those around us. We learn them as children: Jonah and the Whale, David and Goliath, Esther and the King, Ruth and Naomi, the kings, the prophets, the disciples, the church, and the greatest of all our stories, the story of Jesus. As little ones, we learn the outline, the basics. As we grow in our lives and faith, we fill in the skeleton and give it muscle and sinew and through the Holy Spirit, breathe life into it.
Stories, however, die if they are not told. We live in a time and place where we have either forgotten our story or cast it aside in favor of other stories. Yet, there are those moments when we hear it, even a snippet of it, and the story is reborn in us, our memory revived. As Jesus’s storytellers, we are called to remember and revive the story that the Spirit of God may impress the truth of it on those who hear it.
Find your campfire.
Tell your stories.
Let the Spirit of God breathe life into your life and the lives around you.