Focus Text: Romans 10:5-15
Recently my son sent some letters to his younger sister who was attending camp. As he was preparing to send the stack of correspondence (the more letters, the more singing his sister would have to do), we had to go over how to address an envelope, where to place the stamp, and what acceptable weight was covered by a 1st class postage stamp.
At first I was a little taken aback that he didn’t know how to address an envelope, but with a little reflection it makes sense. He’s proficient at email, chat, telephone, and text. How was he to know how to address an envelope? He was never taught.
We’re in a similar situation with the stories of Jesus. While I grew up with them surrounding me in family, church, friendships, and even public school to some extent, these are not the stories that most of our young people are growing up with today. Many of Americans have little familiarity with the Bible, including some who call themselves Christians. We’re familiar with the stories of politics, individualism, science, technology, media, entertainment, and even religion, but the stories of Jesus are less and less familiar.
The simple story of Jesus offered in this week’s text is entirely unknown by much of the world. When these themes and words have been heard, they are, frankly, either unfamiliar or grossly misunderstood. Heart. Justified. Confess. Saved. Believe. Lord. Key words in the story of Jesus, but words that we can’t assume are understood by those around us.
Apparently that was the case with the Romans as well, that those around them weren’t familiar with these stories of Jesus. How were they to believe if they had not heard? How were they to hear if there was no one to tell them? How are they to tell if they are not sent? The answer is in the intentional action to share the stories of Jesus. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Why couldn’t my son address a letter? Simply because no one had taught him how to do it. How is the world to know the stories of Jesus? By the messengers of the good news, by you and me taking the time to teach simple truths that we take for granted.
Tell me the stories of Jesus
I love to tell the story
All human beings have an innate need to hear and tell stories and to have a story to live by. Religion, whatever else it has done, has provided one of the main ways of meeting this abiding need. – Harvey Cox
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. – Maya Angelou
Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you
through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him,
that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope
of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. – Book of Common Prayer