By Pastor Robert Holdorf St. Paul United Methodist Church, La Porte City
Have you been asked to remember and to tell your experiences of God? We do not find a lot of time to remember experiences of God because our world and culture has a way of keeping us from remembering. But even more difficult is to tell, to share our experiences. Over the years as Pastor I have had so many opportunities to hear these stories. All of them are wonderful, heart-warming, and many are really life changing or at least life guiding. In most cases these experiences are difficult to describe and difficult to put into words.
So difficult that many times people will begin to use biblical images to tell their story. Perhaps you have experienced that also. It takes a peculiar language to tell a peculiar story. You need the language and the biblical image to put your story into words. That is why it is so important for our children to learn the biblical stories not only for the story of God’s love and promise to be with us but also as a means of sharing our experiences of God with one another.
One of the stories that are so meaningful for me is the Jonah story where Jonah is going west when God wants him to go east. This story is so meaningful for me because it describes one of my experiences of God perfectly. When a biblical story begins to reflect us it becomes even more of a source for power to change our lives and give us the healing we all need. Even the gospel of Matthew uses Old Testament stories and images to help explain who Jesus is. Our openness to God experiences provides common ground over the centuries.