Every family has its stories. The stories that get repeated at family gatherings. The stories that get passed on to the future generations. The stories that live long after the participants are gone.
The story of the Christmas the tree fell; the story of the wedding reception interrupted by a fire alarm pulled by a five year old nephew; the story of the great-grandmothers whose knitting is still a prized family heirloom; the story of how the grandparents met by happenstance.
The stories, in fact, are part of what makes the family and gives it identity. When you marry into a family you inherit the stories of that family and become one with them when their story becomes “our” story. Stories make us a community, give us shape and form, locate us in the world, and allow us to claim that because we share a story these are “my people.”
The family of God has a story, as well. It is a story told in the narrative of scripture and repeated throughout the millennia. It is a story whose origins are in the story of one particular family – the family of Abraham. For the first eleven chapters of Genesis, the story of God is told as the story of the whole human family but then the story takes a dramatic turn in chapter 12. It is as if God decides “That’s not working too well; let’s try one family and see how that goes.” And God chooses the family of Abraham. For the next 38 chapters, we are taken through the history of this family’s story. We find people who put the “fun” in dysfunction, yet somehow manage to keep their eyes on God and God’s promise. At the end of the day, we discover that God has kept God’s eye on them and the promise as well. In the story of the Abraham family, we discover what is to be the people of God and something of how our story fits into God’s.
This summer, we will be reading and reflecting on the “Family Stories” as we remember the family of Abraham in all five worship communities. This Sunday, we will begin at the beginning of the story in Genesis 12:1-9 as we consider that “The Journey Is Our Home.”
I hope to see you there. If you’re traveling and on vacation, I invite you to remember that we stream the 11:05 sanctuary service now and you can worship with us from wherever you are. I hope you will so that you don’t miss any part of the story.
Until then, do you remember the time…..?
Grace and peace.