“Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” Joel 1:2-3
One of my favorite memories is talking to my grandma about what she remembers as a child. For example, she’ll tell the story of the flood when she lived along the river. Or she’ll tell the story about the table that was the last purchase her father made before he died in his 40’s. Or she’ll giggle about the story of her first driving lesson on the expressway in the city. She may not have been laughing that day, but it is certainly a funny story now. Through these stories, I’ve learned not to worry about possessions, how to value family relationships, and laugh about the stressful moments. Her storytelling reveals lessons that are timeless.
The book of Joel in the Bible shows a leader who included the context of the day and related it to God’s work in the middle of that context (see Maxwell Leadership Bible). God gave Joel a purpose to describe what he saw and tell how God was going to use the terrible to bring forth the miraculous—and encouraged the people to tell their children and their children’s children for generations to come. Those stories of what was happening in the moment became timeless truths.
Jesus might have done the same. In the Bible, he talks about a current event and highlight God’s fingerprints. He’ll use a story to reveal the timeless truth. Pastor Kevin of Magnolia Lutheran Church mentioned in a sermon that in Matthew 22:1-14, that it is possible (according to some scholars) Jesus referenced a real situation when sharing the parable of the wedding feast. It is possible Herod’s son was getting married, and those that didn’t show lost their lives (see Matthew 22:1-3). Jesus turns the story in an unexpected direction when he uses that launching pad to show what grace may do in that context. Jesus uses a story to reveal a timeless truth.
What stories do you share that reveal a timeless truth? What is happening now that you’ll want to tell future generations?
© 2020, Mollie Bond