Friday – March 20, 2015; Telling Our Own Stories

Hebrews 3:1-6 storytelling-1

3 Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also “was faithful in all God’s house.” 3 Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken later. 6 Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.

I don’t know who built my house, it is over 100 years old and was probably built as part of a neighborhood development project, to support the factories that were active in Southeastern Pennsylvania at the time it was built. Mine is one a several townhouses and twin homes built in the community at the beginning of the 20th century, and architecturally there is not much that sets it apart from the rest of the houses on my street.

There are people who do know who built their houses, such as my father, who was born and raised in the house his father built out in the prairies of South Dakota. My girlfriend grew up in a house built by her uncle, where her mother still lives, and there are many other people who know the histories of their houses or buildings. These people are able to tell great stories about where they live, such as my father’s tales of growing up during the Dustbowl days of the ‘30s, how he and his brothers used to like playing tricks on each other all the way to the stories about the great family reunions held out on the farm in the 50’s and 60’s.

As for my girlfriend, she has taken me on a tour the land where she grew up and tell me stories of their family gatherings, from picnics in the summer, to hikes in the fall. She can also show me where they once kept animals, and where a previous house once stood!

As a person who love stories and history, I think it is interesting to know the story of a place, even though that may not always be possible. However, I wonder how many people really give much thought to those who made their houses “home” before they did, not to mention who actually built the house!

Whether we give it a second thought or not, and no matter if it was a loving family or a construction company that built the house we live in, we owe them a debt, for they built the place we now call home, and even the poorest built house can hold up if it is maintained and supported…and on some occasions it can even be improved upon.

Our families can be like this too: sometimes we know the story, sometimes it is good while at other times the story can be painful to hear. Yet, even if our families did not start off that great, leaving us with creaking floors, and drafty walls, they are still our families, our homes!

And no matter how the stories began, as parents they now belong to us, and we are called make this story our own, by writing a new a chapter in that story which will speak to the future, and instruct our children on how to carry on with their own stories!

The stories we write today, with the love and faith we share with our own children can make our homes a stronger and a better place to live. With our stories we can repair the damage done in the past, whether it was done in the families we grew up in, or in the families we started with a former partner or spouse.

This is what we are called to do as followers of Christ: to maintain and support our homes, to tell our stories, and the story of the great love we share, the love that was given to us by God, earned not by our own efforts, but on a splintery cross, high on a windy hill…love that shines brightly from the open tomb of Easter morning!

The stories we write within our own families, make our houses “home” for ourselves and our children. These stories are the building blocks of our lives together, founded on love and faith, and when shared, become part of the great story of God’s love, a story that did not end with the Bible, or with that open tomb, but which has only just begun…as it lives on to be told and shared by our children.

Let Us Pray:

God, thank you for building us a strong home of love, given through Christ. Help us not to be held back by the history of our families, but to be enriched by it, to grow from it, and to build upon it. Let us share the love you have given us with the world, as we make your story our own.

Amen

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