Mark 16:15 – And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (NKJV)
When my father was close to the end of his life here on earth in 1987, I spent a lot of time with him, and he told me many stories. He was born in 1900, and he went to work when he was twelve. He told me about the time when the first car came down the street where they lived, and a group of children hung on to the back bumper and stalled it. He told me about the First World War and the depression years, and the struggles they had during that time and during the occupation of the Netherlands in the early forties. He was a man who grew up in the church and always attended until the later years of his life. When we talked about his impending death, he said, "It is good what my God does." This is just a small sampling of the stories that he told me. A few days later, he died, and all those memories were gone. I have written down all these and many more of his stories, as well as our own, in a book for my children and grandchildren to read and refer to in later years.
Luke was aware that there was only one way to preserve the stories of Jesus for future generations, and he starts his memories in such a human, easy-to-understand way.
Luke 1:1-4 – Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed. (NKJV)
All through the years, people have told the story of Jesus. That is what Jesus told His followers to do, and that is what we do. After all,
- We've a story to tell to the nations,
That shall turn their hearts to the right,
A story of truth and mercy,
A story of peace and light.
(Colin Sterne, 1862-1928)
We have Jesus' instruction to bring the gospel to all people, and we do that, in part, by telling the stories from our own relationship with Jesus.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the words of Scripture where we read the stories of Jesus. How much that means to us here and now! We also thank You for those who went before us, and whose stories, as well as our own, we can pass on to future generations. We offer this prayer of thanksgiving in Jesus' name. Amen.