Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Telling Stories

Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:“‘“You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. Matthew 13:10-17

In many native traditions, the storyteller is not entertainment for children, but is a person with the power to transform people. Storytellers are those who have spiritual power, and stories themselves are essential to the life of the people. Our stories are not myths but rather part of the ground of our being. The narratives we share are both personal and public, the stories of the Creator's power moving within us. Stories are also teaching tools, not only for children but for the whole people, and many a story teller is considered a holy person among us, carrying the power and traditions from ancient time into the present.

Jesus' disciples question his use of stories, as if they themselves were too grown up and sophisticated to be bothered with parables. He challenges them to understand that what they see as simple or childish, might just be a incredible and holy gift, one they should treasure rather than dismiss. He tells them that what he tells will be remembered and recited, and that they are blessed to live the experience of these stories but the same stories will be life giving to other generations. I believe that Jesus invites us today to tell our stories, to share the gifts and experiences we have been given and to weave them into the divine story.

Today I ask God to help me share with others the richness of God. I ask that I might carry on the tradition of sharing stories, wisdom and insight so that others might grow in strength and faith. May we all share the love that seems hidden to some so that God's open heart might be part of everyone's story today.

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