This preaching series is on telling stories. Previously, BEGINNING, LOVE, ORIGIN, FOOD, UGLY, and WANDERING Stories were shared. The last stories shared are Comeback Stories.
When invited, Pastor Theresa will hand out super hero capes and masks. Let’s think together who our heroes are and why. Think of a super power. Use the fabric markers to decorate your cape and mask to represent your hero.
Comeback stories have a way of resetting us back to the beginning – almost experiencing things for the first time through shedding old habits, seeing things through a new lens, or making a complete U-turn in how we choose to live our life. Comeback stories have a way of returning us or reminding us of the things that matter in life – people we love and who love us, things we love or that give us life. Comeback stories have a way of feeding us in body and in spirit. We learn that we can survive incredibly difficult moments when life throws a curve ball or our security and safety is threatened; we are tougher than we think; and we won’t go down easily. When times are difficult, we gather around table and food with the people we love to remind us that we are not alone . . . even when we are lost. God is with us. Today’s scripture reading is a comeback story of sorts. It is the moment when Saul who we now know of as Paul has an experience that changes his life forever.
When you look at comeback stories throughout the Bible, they are often linked to reclaiming who God is and who we are. When Moses was called to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, God sets God’s identity—revealed in blazing fire—in stone as the first commandment for the people of Israel to remember and follow. God is the fiery “I AM” carved in stone so the people of Israel would never forget long after the fire is gone. In today’s reading, Saul and Ananias’ identity also changed. Their call and understanding of who Jesus is changed. What they both learn is Jesus is a new way of seeing, a new way of being. Jesus rearranges our ways seeing, being, and acting. Jesus changes our world. We are not people guided by fear, scarcity, and the law. We are people guided by courage, abundance, and the love in which the law was created.
We all have our comeback stories. We all have walked with each other through illnesses, losses whether jobs, faith, identity . . . What is a hero? Well, we know from the news or Marvel movies, they are people who do extraordinary things, BUT from the bible, they are very ordinary, very common, a lot times not very worthy people, people who make a lot of mistakes – some that are even hard to forgive. What makes them heroic is nothing that they can do on their own – it is something done with God’s help – something done together.
Worshippers were invited to share a story of “My Hero Is . . . ”
Some of the “My Hero Is . . .” stories shared were:
- My dad who has shown me the way of truth and courage and righteousness my whole life.
- My mom is a prayer warrior! She was teaching me how to come close to God praying.
- those in my life who have lead through quiet example. Sometimes it takes time to recognize the heroism in these individuals, but when I do it is their example who has left the most lasting impact.
- The stranger who paid for my muni ticket lat at night when I struggled to find my way home. He returned to me a faith in people I had lost earlier that night.
- Those who struggle, survive, pick up pieces and try again, encourage others who are fellow strugglers. Peacemakers who seek to be inclusive and provide a place at the table for everyone. The person who takes life and does his/her best and is thus an encourager!
God of Grace and God of Glory
You, Lord, Are Both Lamb and Shepherd
Go to the World