Tell Me A Story

February 9, 2015
by Deana Weyman

From the youngest age, all children love to be told stories. We enjoy hearing them, whether they are the invention of our talented parents or they're read from the ever-popular children's books.

There are still many children around the world, or even nearby, who do not experience the joy of melding their imagination with the characters in a book, and so immersing themselves in the action. That sad fact has always troubled me, as I was one of the many who were blessed with an unending supply of books as a child. But it all starts with someone telling the stories before we are able to read.

When we become adults, we continue to enjoy the relating of an event, fictional or historical. The follow-up of a good story produced as a movie event can be equally enjoyable, even if in some cases the original story is not necessarily well represented.

When it comes to biblical stories, I enjoy those reproduced in the form of a documentary. I like to hear more about the actual people, around whom history and God's plan were shaped. Even though the writers and directors are using some personal suppositions, I like to hear what might have been on the minds of those larger-than-life protagonists.

During the few weeks of Advent, the congregation at our church was given the gift of just such dramatic presentations. Our pastor portrayed such biblical individuals as Zechariah, Joseph, and the magi. He relayed the stories in the first person singular, and as a result, we were transported to a different time and place. There was rapt attention during the telling, and we, the listeners, were deeply moved.

Jesus was a master story-teller, and He used the parables to communicate eternal truths. A well-told story can do more than just capture the attention of the listener; it can reach depths that connect to the individual. And is that not what we Christians seek to do? A few words, whether dramatized or simply spoken in passing, can connect to people who are unsure or questioning, or are simply lacklustre in their understanding of Christian living. Let us all share our experiences in our walk with God, whenever the Spirit moves us, in whatever way.

I applaud all Sunday School teachers, pastors, and visitors to nursing homes as they accept the very important role of sharing the Word of God. What if they were to adopt, even just once, a biblical personality, and show the listeners what that person might have been thinking during their experience? Could you relate to the father of the prodigal son … or perhaps the brother?

Luke 15:17-19 – But when he came to himself he said, "How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.'" (RSV)

Tell them a story!

Prayer: Dear Father, Lord, we deeply desire to connect to others and to show how an intimate connection with You will change their lives. Whatever methods may be Your choice for us, help us to use them wisely and for Your glory. Amen.

About the author:

Deana Weyman <deana@sympatico.ca>
King City, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the good word, Deana.


    I believe you have hit on an important observation: The power of stories. Concepts are conveyed and best received through stories. It’s how the Bible came to us, isn’t it?
    I appreciate your reminder: We so often extract biblical texts and sever them from the storyline or context. But keeping them together can help us understand the message more accurately.


    Thank you for the devotional — thinking of you


    Thank you for your affirming message. Blessings.


    Thank you, Deana.


    Thank you for this devotional. I think it is so important to present as though we were living in that era. Too many times we are feeling disconnected because we cannot put ourselves in the picture.


    Thanks Deana, I believe we are in the last days. We need to spread to Word in any way and all ways possible. Soon our church doors will be closed to the truth. I applaud your terse reminder. Many blessings in Christ.


    Interesting and thought-provoking idea ~ Thank you.


    I’m glad your minister has the talent to be dramatic, and that he uses this talent to present God’s Word. I pray he will be encouraged to continue to be creative, and that God will continue to use him in this way — and in many other ways.
    Once, when one of our ministers had a bad cold, he asked another minister to read each Bible passage within his sermon as he preached, thus saving his ailing voice. The reading minister (who had been given the Bible passages to have ready), just sat with the congregation in a place from which his voice came through well on a second mike.
    This idea came across so well in the presentation of that sermon, that the two ministers have worked together a couple of times since in the presentation of a messages, alternating voices for the preaching and reading parts.
    Doing this has made us really sit up and listen. Also the ministers’ working together has been a very good example of Christian co-operation played out for the congregation.
    The reading voice need not be that of another minister. It might be that of any good reader in the congregation.
    Now, that I have written of this to you — with no copyright preventing your passing on of the idea! — I think I might try to write a devotional on Christian co-operation.
    I pray that congregations will encourage ministers to be innovative in many ways.
    Keep writing, Deana.


    Well said, Deana, as always. Never thought of someone taking on the personality of a biblical figure and speaking in the first person. Must be a moving and powerful presentation.
    Thanks again.


    I enjoyed your devotional and prayer. Thank you.

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