Monday, January 18

Tell Me The Story...

I had a conversation with my 15 year old son, Seth, last night.  I can't get away from it. 

Yesterday, he went to church with his girlfriend, Pamela.  It was the first time he'd ever been to church with her.  She's gone with us quite a few times in the past year, but he hadn't been to a church service with her.  I think he'd been to a couple of outings, but no actual services.

Seth has only been a part of 2 churches in his 15 years.  Fellowship, that he attended from birth till he was about 2 1/2, the Tabernacle from 2 1/2 till he was 7, and then back at Fellowship.  The two churches do some things different, but alot of things the same.  After all, our pastor was a member of the Tabernacle before he came to Fellowship.    Seth has also visited several other churches with family and friends, some big, some small.  Pamela's church is a small country church.

I haven't attended too many more churches than Seth has.  Child's Memorial before we moved to California and Swan Pond after we came back to Tennessee.  That's where I was a member until I married Charlie and joined Fellowship.  I did visit alot of churches while I attended Swan Pond.  Our youth choir was very active, and we spent many nights traveling to sing at other churches in revivals and special services.  There was one summer when I attended a church service or revival meeting every night for 6 weeks.  So, though I haven't attended a lot of different churches I have seen services held in a lot of different ways.

I've never seen Seth come in so animated as he was last night.  He came in talking 90 miles a minute.  (If you know my Seth, you know if he's excited about something, you can't get a word in edgewise).

He began telling me about the people and the services.  He told about how friendly the people were, about the message, (almost word for word, Seth's a stickler for details),  how he could feel the Spirit in the service, the preacher, the music, the musicians, the songbook they used, the songs they sang, the special singers, their voices, the fellowship, how when one person went to the alter everyone went and prayed with that person, even how they closed out the service.  He talked about how different it was and how much he enjoyed it.  As he talked, I was reminded of so many things that I remember from past services and times in my Christian life.  His excitement touched a chord in my heart.  I know that excitement, I've felt it, time and again. 

All day today, I've been reminded of that conversation.  Reminded of the way things have been done in the past and the way things are done now.  The order of things and the way they're done has changed many times in the 33 years I've been saved,  both within each church, and from church to church.  None have been more right or wrong than the others.  They have just been different. Often they've been changed in order to avoid being in a "rut".  I've heard preachers preach time and again how we don't need to get in a rut in our services and in our lives.  Routines are good and I personally like having some routine to my life.  But sometimes, change is good too.  It gives us a fresh view, a renewed sense of purpose. 

Seth has only known one basic way a service is carried out and he could recite to you exactly how it will unfold, as could I.  But yesterday, Seth got a glimpse of something a little different.  And it stirred something within him, and made him long for more.  He talked of a desire for a life lived closer to God.  I liked what I saw... these results of something out of his ordinary.  I want to see it continue.  My pastor and I had a conversation a few months back about what we wanted to see for our young people.  This is it.  This is what I want to see.  I want to see more of this excitement!  More of this change!

And we need more of that which brings about change.

We need to hear more of the Story
More of His Story
More of the Story of Jesus

Whether it be in the messages, in the songs, in the lives we live or in our conversations.  I do not want to continually hear how awful this world is.  How wicked, how sinful.  I know how terrible it is.  I know just how wicked and sinful.  I live in this world. I walk in this world. I deal with the results of the sins of this world every day, if not in my life, then in the lives of family and friends.  There are some things I know better than I've ever wanted to know.  Oh, I know that we need to be reminded, to be warned from time to time, but that's not what I want to dwell on. 

I want to hear about Jesus.  So tell me about His great love.  About His grace and mercy.  Tell me of His sacrifice.  Tell me of Heaven, and the place He's prepared.  Remind me how He changes lives, picks up the broken pieces, mends the shattered lives.  Tell me of His forgiveness. 

And in telling His Story, give me Hope.
Hope that I can dwell on. 
Hope for tomorrow. 
Hope for ruined lives. 
Hope for loved ones.
Hope for our children. 
Hope for change. 

It comes from Him. 
From hearing His Story.

Tell Me The Story Of Jesus
by Fanny Crosby

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.
Tell how the angels in chorus,
Sang as they welcomed His birth,
“Glory to God in the highest!
Peace and good tidings to earth.”

Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word;
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard.

Fasting alone in the desert,
Tell of the days that are past,
How for our sins He was tempted,
Yet was triumphant at last.
Tell of the years of His labor,
Tell of the sorrow He bore;
He was despised and afflicted,
Homeless, rejected and poor.

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain;
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again.
Love in that story so tender,
Clearer than ever I see;
Stay, let me weep while you whisper,
“Love paid the ransom for me.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I long to see that excitement in our young people as well. I've seen it, tasted it, felt it and want my kids to as well. I would have loved to listen to Seth's excitement. Thanks for your words.