Thursday, February 25, 2021

Rev. Klockers: The most powerful stories in our lives are shared experiences

| October 21, 2020 1:00 AM

I began to have interest in exploring my family genealogy when I was 18 years old. I started by interviewing my oldest living relatives. One of them was my Grandmother Fultz. Thankfully, she proved to possess a wealth of information. In my listening, I learned some things that were new and came as a surprise. These stories really helped me paint a more accurate picture of what life was like for my grandmother as well as others.

We all have stories. How many stories can you tell? Do you have those handed down from generation to generation? What was it like growing up? How many siblings do you/did you have? Where have you lived? What are your interests? What do you do/have you done for a living? These are just a few of the stories you could tell.

In the Gospel of Luke we discover a story of Jesus Christ that was written to an individual. He is referred to as “most excellent Theophilus.” This is a clue for us that Theophilus was someone who was highly regarded, perhaps a leader in his community. What’s more the author of Luke’s Gospel also wrote a second work to Theophilus – the book of Acts. It was penned to describe the very beginnings of the Christian church and its growth.

By reading these two books, Theophilus began the process of taking in something life-changing.

This process involved three stories: The first was his own. The second belonged to Jesus and the early Christian movement.

There is another as well that is often overlooked. One could refer to it as “our story.” It moves beyond “me and Jesus” to include everyone around us. If these stories were represented by circles, they would all overlap.

In my view, spiritual growth involves moving beyond the stories of me and Jesus to be more inclusive.

Yes, there is greater meaning to life when there are shared stories of God’s love.

After all, that is the goal, isn’t it?

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Moses Lake and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.