“When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.” (Luke 2: 17-18)
Everybody loves a story, especially a good story. A story that invites you in and allows you to feel as though you were there in the drama. People also love good storytellers. These individuals know how to weave a tale together that holds our attention and remains with us later.
The great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky once wrote, “But how could you live and have no story to tell?” Life is about stories. Stories that involve us as well as stories that involve those we know. The moment we are born, we begin our own story as our life develops and moves and transitions over time. To live is to have a story.
The shepherds now had a story to tell. As they visit with the new parents and the infant Jesus in their stable accommodations, they relate to them the miraculous story of their angelic visitation. Whether there were more people at the stable than Mary and Joseph, we are not told, but all who did hear their story were amazed.
Discernment is about a spiritual reflection of one’s story, whether it be an individual or a church. We must listen to our stories, consider the people and places in them, the events that happen, and the emotions we feel along the way. Most important is we must ask ourselves how God fits into the story. What role does God play in our stories? What influence does God have upon our stories? And are our stories honoring God in the way they are told and lived? In listening to our own stories, we can discover how God has worked in the past, continues to work in the present and the promise of his presence in the future. God loves stories and desires nothing more than to be a part of ours.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the stories. Thank you for my story. That you for the old, old story of Jesus and his love.