The Bible is a good story that rings true. There is a recent version of the Bible called The Story that has tried to pick up on this idea of the Bible as one complete story by presenting it that way. The Bible is the true story of God, our Heavenly Father, the
God has brought us into his story of redemption and restoration of all of creation by using people to introduce us to Jesus. We have met the Jesus who saves us. Our ears have heard the saving message of the Gospel. Our eyes have read the story of God’s salvation in the Bible. Our mouths have prayed the prayers and sung the songs of God. Our bodies and souls have been washed clean with the waters of Holy Baptism. Our tounges have tasted and seen God’s forgiveness, life, and salvation in the Lord’s Supper. We have met Jesus. We believe and trust in him. We have been brought into God’s story of salvation through Christ.
On Sunday mornings we are brought into God’s story continually through the liturgy. At Atonement we “embrace the traditions of the Church and re-present them for this present time.” The liturgy of the Church is a story in which we participate and are rooted firmly in Christ through Word and Sacrament—the ways God gives us his eternal, spiritual gifts of life, forgiveness, and salvation in the present. Through the liturgy of the Church we meet Jesus and receive his gifts of forgiveness, eternal life, and salvation. We grow in our faith and become more firmly rooted in Christ as we live our lives the other six days of the week.
So How do we witness to others and tell this story? How do we bring others to meet Jesus and experience God’s story of salvation?
Well, if it is true that everyone loves a good story, perhaps we can start by listening to their story. What are their struggles? What are their difficulties? What are they trusting in above all else to meet their needs and to help them through struggles and difficulties? What are they looking to for meaning in their lives? What are they looking to for their identity? What are they looking to for security? Will those things ultimately satisfy or will they experience inevitable disappointment that will leave them stuck in hopelessness?
Then we can relate our story. How has being a part of God’s story of redemption and recreation in Christ given us true peace and hope that can be found in nothing else? How has being a part of God’s Story of salvation helped us through the difficulties, struggles, and trials of life?
After listening to their story and relating our story we are in a better position to share God’s Story. We can proclaim the story of redemption and recreation in Christ. We can proclaim the Gospel. We can proclaim a loving Heavenly Father who longs to have all people back in his heavenly household as soon as possible. We can proclaim the truth that this Heavenly Father has found a way to forgive the greatest of human offenses that separate us from having an eternal place in his house. We can proclaim that this Heavenly Father wants to adopt all people as his own holy children through a rebirth in the waters of Holy Baptism. He wants to unite all people to Christ and his death for the forgiveness of sins and resurrection to new, eternal life.
People love a good story. God’s story of redemption and restoration in Christ that the Bible reveals for us is a true story. And the great news is that he has found a way to bring you into his story through Word and Sacrament. He has found a way to continue to root you firmly in that story through the Divine Service on Sunday morning. And he wants to use you to proclaim that story for others.