Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. As we embark on the new year 2017, I am struck by the stories that people tell me about their lives. How God has been faithful to them even in the midst of pain. It reminds me of the story we read during Advent when John, in prison asks his followers to go find Jesus and ask Jesus this question: Are you the one to come or are we to wait for another? (Matthew 11) And Jesus answers: Tell him what you hear and see: the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.
Author Debbie Thomas says: "In other words, Jesus says: go back to John and tell him your stories. Tell him my stories. Tell him what your eyes have seen and your ears have heard. Tell him what only the stories - quiet as they are, scattered as they are, questionable as they are - will reveal." Why? Because sometimes the only way to see the hand of God at work in one's life and within the community, is to reflect back on our stories. In reflecting back on our stories and the stories of others, we see how God has worked in our lives and in the community. We can trust the future because we know who has had our back in the past. Sometimes that is an individual story and sometimes it is the story of the community of faith. Ultimately it is being able to see the reality of "God with Us" in our midst.
This January 14, 2017, we are inviting our community of Faith, the neighborhood, and our volunteers that help with the Food Pantry as part of the Community Bridge to come together and tell our stories to one another with the hope of strengthening each other in our faith journey and building Beloved community in Christ, one person at a time. Please mark on your calendars and consider joining us.
Sharing Our Stories Retreat:
Saturday, January 14, 2017
10am-2pm (light breakfast and lunch will be served
Center for Changing Lives, 2400 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55405