Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A story is only a story... to the extent that it is told

Andrew and Naomi, Advent 1987
Typically, I'm all about the "now". I believe too many people either live in the past (via the idealized and largely imaginary "Good old days"), or in a distant future that often boils down to "Pie in the sky when they die...."

However, THIS is the moment where we are living; not yesterday, not tomorrow, but now. Our challenge - and our opportunity - is to engage today (in this case, Tuesday, December 6, 2011) with the kind of life-charged life God invites us to participate in.

That said, there's something about the Advent season that brings images and traditions to mind that can strengthen and enrich our experience today. Yesterday, our daughter Naomi posted this old photograph on her facebook account and it commented perfectly on today.

THEY WERE FIVE AND THREE, and it was a year after the fateful "Case of the Missing Magi" incident. We've always done our best to make the Nativity interactive, and we'd set the display up, one piece at a time, taking turns to carefully place Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise guys and all the animals.

Then, and often several times a day, the scene would be rearranged. At times, extra characters would appear.
  • "Andrew, why is your GI Joe kneeling beside Jesus with a bazooka?"
  • "He heard about King Herod and he's on guard," he said.
  • "Naomi. Papa Smurf? Are you serious?"
  • "He loves the baby Jesus too..."
ONE CHRISTMAS... all the animals from the Fisher-Price Farm set showed up. Another time it was like a scene from Jurassic Park. There were always lions and tigers and bears.

Advent at Maul Hall was interactive by design, and because Rebekah and I believe a story is only a story to the extent that it is told.

Today - always something going on around the manger
OUR STORY: And that, my friends, brings us back to today, the place where Jesus intends to enter our personal and our family story. Is our account of the coming of the King simply parked on a safe shelf, where it sits dormant until it is wrapped up and packed away again for another year? Or is God telling the Jesus story, day by day, through us?
I love to tell the story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;
It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.
I love to tell the story, ’twill be my theme in glory, To tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
Living the story, one day at a time - DEREK

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