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July 19 , 2015

Justice, Love, and Humility

Micah 6:3-8


My father is a storyteller. He loves to tell stories about the family and the pieces of our heritage. I have many memories of running through cemeteries looking for headstones with family names, hoping we had found a long-lost relative. As my father ages, I want to know the stories of the beloved items I will inherit so that I can pass along those stories to the next generation.

 

For example, my father is planning to ship the piano from their house to mine in the next few weeks. I practiced on that very instrument for 12 years in my youth. I asked my father for the story of how he had come into possession of the three-quarter grand Chickering. The piano lived in the apartment of the owner of his small town’s hotel when my father was a child. He remembers playing with the woman’s granddaughter and seeing the piano in the parlor. Then the woman died, the property was sold, and my father’s parents purchased the piano; but my father could not have it with him in college, while he was in the Air Force, nor when he had his first apartment.


When my parents purchased their home, one of the requirements was that it have a living room large enough for the piano. Only as a newlywed did my father finally have the piano delivered. Now it is my turn to have and play once again on the 98-year-old piece ofhistory.

 

The purpose of today’s lesson is “to appreciate the importance of memory.”1 Our teacher’s book speaks of the value of sharing stories, even how children who know their family’s stories demonstrate better emotional health.2 As believers we inherit the stories of our Judeo-Christian faith. We can learn a tool from our Jewish brothers and sisters by taking on the biblical stories as our own and reading them as if we were there.

  1. Who is the keeper of the stories in your family? How do family stories get transmitted from one generation to the next? What in your family’s history would you like to know more about? What family stories would you like others to know?
  2. Has someone written a history of your church? If so, how can you get a copy to read for yourself? If not, how can your class go about contributing to a history being written? What stories about the church would you like others to know?

 

 

 

1From Adult Bible Studies Teacher, Summer 2015, by Stan Purdum (Cokesbury, 2015); page 73.

2From Adult Bible Studies Teacher; pages 76–77.

 

Reverend Katie Shockley is a licensed local pastor and serves as pastor of Community United Methodist Church in Copeville, Texas.

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