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A community of stories

A community of stories

Something to read

And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.

- Hebrews 11:32-34.

Something to think about

When I get together with my siblings, it won’t be long before we’re rehearsing our favourite family stories. Some are from our childhood, like the time my little sister was stung by a jellyfish while swimming between two islands. Others come from generations before, such as the story of a large pig called Horace on my great-grandfather’s farm. I hope my own daughter grows up knowing these stories and adding her own to the mix, to pass on to yet another generation.

My family stories may not be as dramatic as those listed here – not many lions involved, and few conquerors of kingdoms. But they serve a similar purpose. Telling the family stories of faith and struggles, of frailty and mishaps, of triumphs and strength found in God and through community, roots me and reminds me who I am. In story, we can pass on profound truths with humour and warmth; in story, we meet a great crowd cheering us on from all corners of time and space.

If others are drawn into the family of faith, it might be through our rituals and rules. But more often, it’s through our stories.

Something to do

Consider how personal stories are shared within your faith community: perhaps there is a testimony slot in services, time spent in small groups, or simply chats over coffee. In whatever way is appropriate, plan to share a story this week of what God has done in your life, and ask to hear a bit of someone else’s story too.


Something to pray

God of struggle and success, thank you that you are always present in the stories of my life, whether it is obvious or not. Help me to share my stories of your grace, and encourage me with the testimony of those around me and all who have gone before me. Amen.


Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones