gracious storytellers

After dropping the girls off at school,
walking home,
I encountered a mom and her child
heading to the school,
the child trailing behind the mom
explaining quite earnestly and in great detail
some obviously so very significant event.

I smiled, sure that child had been read stories—
been told stories,
and within her experience of family,
had learned the importance of stories—
stories in which we locate meaning and identity
and our own place in a larger story.

There are no richer
more significant and relevant stories, I believe,
than those on and with which we’re raised
as followers of God in the way of Jesus.

Ours are stories that affirm, stress, and celebrate:
we are loved—
no matter what, we are loved,
and within that love,
we are entrusted with immense responsibility
for ourselves, for each other, and for all creation.

But words said recently at a celebration of communion
apply to our stories as they do to God’s table,
“Be good and gracious hosts.
These are not ours to defend, but to extend
as marvelous gift and invitation.”

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