Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation.
Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?
My kids love to hear my adventure stories, like that time that I had to force an alligator to move out of my way during a trail run, or that time that I canoed across a lake during a thunderstorm with their grandpa. In fact, if I give them the choice to hear a story that I make up or one that they’ve already heard from my past… they usually choose the latter. Tell us that one again, Daddy!
Why do children love hearing the same stories about their parents over and over? Why do each one of us love telling the same stories over and over? Maybe it’s simply entertaining. Or maybe it goes deeper.
Perhaps when I tell these stories to my kids, something about my past affects something in their present. Daddy had a funny experience. That’s part of who we are. We’re a funny family.
Daddy had an exciting and scary moment. So that’s part of who we are. We’re adventurous! And because he didn’t die on that lake/with that alligator/on that bike ride, we’re here today. My kids may not even know it. But that that story, even though they weren’t there… somehow forms them now.
This is the what the mindset and practice among the Jewish people has been for centuries. Don’t ever forget to tell the stories! Don’t ever let them grow old! Let them be told in different ways, by different people, in different environments! But no matter what, don’t stop telling them. It’s what keeps our identity alive. It’s what reminds us of who we were… and in a mysterious way, it's what makes us who we are. The story of our past is the inspiration for our future.
It’s time to enter once again into the Great Story. We dive into a narrative of tension, heartbreak, betrayal, suffering, death, and darkness. It’s a story about Jesus and his disciples. And something about their past affects something about our present.
Tonight we remember the most influential meal in history, when Jesus shared dinner with his disciples in the upper room. Tomorrow we remember the suffering and death of Jesus. Saturday we remember the silence of heartbreak.
But that is not the whole story. What begins shrouded in darkness becomes a story of light. And so Sunday….. well, let’s simply say that forgiveness, newness, and joy are not far off.
This is a big story. And it’s the story that reminds us of who we are…. but over and over again, it also makes us who we are.
So, tell stories in the coming days among friends and family. Tell the story of the rabbi who willingly washed his disciples’ feet because there was no servant around. Tell the story of the one who said “forgive them” in the midst of unspeakable violence. Tell the story of a morning and a cave and a garden and the gardener.
Read the story. See yourself in the story. And then, tell your own story. What a weekend. Remember and celebrate well, friends.
Jesus, form me again through the story death and resurrection.