Then you shall declare before the Lord your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. Deuteronomy 26:5

In this passage, God asks his people to remember, every time they worship, the story of their roots. As they lift their offerings, they remember their history. They remember that they don’t have a highbred spiritual pedigree. Their ancestors were wanderers, nomads, people without homes who followed God into the unknown. The journey wasn’t easy, but when they cried to God, God answered. Remembering their story helps them remember that God cares for them and will always provide.

The stories we choose to remember about our history, about how God is moving in it, are vital. These stories give us strength and hope when times are hard. These stories help us celebrate when the harvest comes in.

What’s your story? What God has done in your life? What cry did you lift that God answered? What hardships has God brought you through? What miracles have you seen? What’s the story of God’s work in your family? In your church?

Stories have power. The stories we tell can give us courage to face the future. One story that resonates with me at my current church comes from almost 100 years ago, just before the Great Depression. In the late 1920’s, our church built a new building. Then the bottom fell out of the economy. And our congregation was trying to pay off their capital debt at one of the worst times in history. They were creative and persistent. And I mean, creative! The church was divided into groups and the group that raised the least for the debt had to care for an actual chicken named Gertrude! More tamely, but equally impressively, the boy scouts cleared a cotton field and donated all the money they earned to paying down the debt. This and so much more! I remember and tell that story because we find ourselves in a similar situation. We build a new building right before COVID and are working in one of the worst times to pay it off. But we remember our history and we hear those ancestors cheering us on.

The stories we tell become part of worship. The stories of God’s work in our lives and your church give meaning to your offerings. God calls, God guides, God makes a way. What stories do you tell to remember God’s power?

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