“Facts tell, stories sell.” This is the mantra of advertising. It holds true because we all remember a good story, but facts are quite easily forgotten.
Is it any wonder that much of our Scriptures are brought across to us as a testimony of lives and events? Amazing that our God would weave truths and principles within the fabric of human stories that can be far more easily remembered and retained in our memories. Jesus, did likewise, by the parables that He told us.
I once heard this, that a vital difference between the United Kingdom and America can be seen in the monuments that they’ve built. Consider the British wartime Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Perhaps the most important British Prime Minister in the 20th Century.
He had a statue built to his honour that sits in front of the Parliament house. On it, are merely inscribed the words – “CHURCHILL”. Across the Atlantic, in the Lincoln memorial, is not just a statue of Abraham Lincoln. The memorial is replete with images that tell a story about the American struggle to save the Union. The Second Inaugural Address is also inscribed on the walls of the memorial containing those famous words – “With malice toward none, with charity for all”. In my travels to the US and the UK, I’ve to say that it’s far more common to see homes flying the American flag in America than to find the Union Jack being flown in the UK.
What’s my point? My simple point is that in line with the nature of Scriptures, Christians need to learn to tell our stories better and more frequently. Perhaps we’ve not fully understood the importance of telling those accounts from Scriptures and also of the stories of God’s work in our lives. Consider for a moment these verses:
“And it shall be, when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’” Exo 12:26
“When your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies, the statutes, and the judgments which the Lord our God has commanded you?’” Deut 6:20
These are just two instances of many others found in the Bible concerning things that we’re to talk about, recall and reminiscence. In the most unusual of insights, we see in Malachi 3:16 that God comes and listens in on our conversations about Him. The emphasis is evident. The reason for doing so is clear. What’s needed then is for us is to make this a practice in our lives.
The interesting thing in Scriptures is that God is seldom into the building of monuments in order to tell a story. Instead, rituals are often the vehicles used to convey an opportunity for the stories to come forth.
Yet in the forming of these rituals, they consist mostly of things that are embedded into the routines of life. May it be over a celebratory meal, or over our weekly Sabbath rest, or through the paying of our tithes – our stories of God are meant to come forth in the process of living out the lives that He’s blessed us with.
I want to encourage you to create “rituals” in your lives that create opportunities for His-story to be told, especially to the children that God has blessed us with.
Pastor Lim Lip Yong