Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Storyteller

On December twenty-sixth I will climb into my car and point it in the direction of West Virginia, as I have done for, at least, twelve years now.
Making this eight hour trip alone is made much more pleasant by the company of a book or two on compact disc.
Over the years I have listened to quite a few offerings.  The readers are generally good, if not excellent and their voices usually lend themselves to the stories.

Occasionally the reader is the author him or herself.
They definitely enrich the stories, as they are the weavers of the tales and have the greatest emotional investment in them and they know the characters intimately.

Whether a story is listened to or read it is important to listen for the writer's voice.

Writer Jill Carattini wrote the commentary for Slice of Infinity on Friday.  Her topic was Telling Stories.
She related the story of a woman, Mrs. Boreham, who had been given an unplanned tour of Canterbury Cathedral.  Her cousin, who was to meet her for the adventure of exploring the place, did not appear and as Mrs. Boreham was about to leave in disappointment a gentleman emerged with the offer of a personal tour.
"I am deeply attached to the place," the man said, "and happen to know something of its story."
She decided that for whatever it was worth, she would accept the offer.

Mrs. Boreham found that
"Concerning every pillar and arch, every cranny and crevice, my eloquent guide had some thrilling tale to tell." 
At the end of the tour and before parting she and the gentleman exchanged cards.  With his shoved into her pocket she headed home.  A bit later she pulled the card out and read the man's name.
Charles Dickens. 
A master storyteller!

Jill continued her comments about the influence of story in our lives.  She mentioned that there is, of course, a storyteller behind each story.

We are in the midst of a story ourselves and our stories influence one another, but there is One who is weaving His grand story, picking up the threads of each one's life to make it part of His beautiful plan.

Yes, that Storyteller is in our midst.
We need to pause and listen for His voice.
When we hear His voice...
When He speaks to us...
It is to draw us in and make His story our own.

Having had the privilege of studying the Bible for over thirty years I have learned to recognize the threads of His story that is woven through its pages.
There is one that is referred to by the Open Bible edition as the Scarlet Thread of Redemption.

This thread begins in Genesis with the promise of One who would crush Satan's head.  It  follows through with verses and passages that point to the promised Messiah (Savior).
He will be born in Bethlehem, according to Micah.
Daniel tells us the when of His birth.
Isaiah's prophetic words promise He will be born of a virgin.
There are descriptions of events such as His flight as a child to Egypt (Hosea) and the coming of the forerunner, John the Baptist (Isaiah).

That is just a taste of what the Old Testament holds and doesn't even touch on all the prophecies of the Savior's life on the earth and His death and His coming reign.

Imagine! this Master Storyteller is the Creator God, the Almighty One and He has invited each one of us to take part in His story.  He invites us into His confidence and to join Him in His glorious plan!

I am certain that I am not alone when I say that there are many hurting, struggling people that I cross paths with each day.
Sometimes I just have to look in the mirror.

As I address that reflection or the precious ones around me, I do so with great confidence.

He is weaving the story and it has a happy ending.
He is always at work whether we see His Hand or not.  I, for one, have seen the evidence too many times to doubt.

This morning I read the third verse of the Third chapter of Colossians,
"For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
The words gave me such a sense of comfort.
Hidden with Christ.
Just like a treasure is hidden to be kept safe.

Yes, I have died..
To self...
To trying to make it all right myself..
To trying to be in control...
To all the lies that I believed for so many years...
Sometimes I just need a reminder.

This is my Christmas gift to each one of you dear readers.

If you know Jesus, as Savior, then savor the security.
Rejoice in the gift.

If you are on the outside looking in...
My precious one-
Join us!

On that Holy night when the angels came to announce the Good News to those regular guys tending those ordinary sheep, they came to proclaim
"Peace on earth, good will to all men."
That peace and good will is from God to us.
He gave the ultimate gift so we could have peace and good will with Him.

Do not let the temporary stuff deceive you.
If we learn His story we will then learn to recognize His story being woven through our very lives.

Let me close by joining Mary, Jesus' mother, as the realization sank in that God was drawing her into His story.
"My soul exalts the LORD, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!"

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