God and Stories

Brothers and sisters,

I’m in the midst of moving apartments this week, which means my nights have been filled with organizing my stuff, packing boxes, and, most importantly, looking at things and asking myself either, “Do I really need this?” or “What did I buy this for?” One of the more obscure things I’ve found was a VCR to DVD converter I bought years ago with the intent of converting our copy of the “Star Wars: Special Edition” trilogy into DVDs. You may be asking, “Why?” Because I have strong opinions on some of the changes made between the “Special Edition” and the DVD editions that came out years later. By the way, I never did convert the movies, but I still had the converter.

I bring that up not just to further establish my credibility as a nerd, but also because I’m always struck by the memories that different items can bring up. I remember buying that converter because of how much I loved the “Special Edition.” There are certain cooking utensils I have that I look at and think, “I remember when someone gave that to me” or “Oh, I remember the recipe I bought these for—that did not work out!” And there’s almost always a smile on my face as I do that. It sounds a little sentimental, but these things end up telling a part of my story.

Last week, during Bible Study, we talked about Psalm 98 and the image of God as one who remembers. The first part of verse 3 reads, “[God] has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness.” Throughout the scriptures, the people of Israel in particular talk about God as one who remembers. God knows their story. God cherishes them and God cherishes the stories they’ve shared together. You’ll notice as well that the Israelites will go out of their way to create monuments, to create items that tell the story of their relationship with God and their commitment to each other.

But one of the truly wonderful things about God is that God is always looking to make new memories with people. That extends to all people, in all places. God is always speaking into people’s lives, affecting their stories, and weaving them into God’s own story. There may not always be special items to commemorate those moments, but the presence of God is ever-present in the lives of each of us. I hope that you can take some time this week to reflect on special moments in your own life: be those family moments, good times with friends, or important occasions in your own faith. Take the time to consider them, to remember they are a part of your story, and to look for the ways God is woven into your own story.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Ben