Wednesday Word: Stories
My floppy Orioles hat has a story – Dcn. Sue
This past Sunday was declared “Hat Sunday” by the Parish Life Commission and people were encouraged to wear their favorite hat to church that day. It was a fun event that brought smiles to those who opted to wear their hats and those who didn't.
Before service Dcn. Sue told me she had brought her floppy O's hat because it was her favorite and it had a story. “Of course it does,” I said, “because all good hats have a story.”
If you have been in my office you will probably notice two things: First, I have a large collection of crosses above the fireplace, and second, I have a large hat collection scattered around the office. All of those hats have stories behind them. Some stories are better than others (like the story behind the softball helmet painted with black & white stripes). Some stories are more memorable than others (like the hat from Carmel's Goosetown Mafia). Some stories I can barely remember (like the hat from Oklahoma and trying to remember if I was ever even in Oklahoma). But they all have stories and they all represent a piece of my overall larger story.
This past Monday was All Saints' Day, the day the Church commemorates those people of the faith who had died, and especially those who “had crowned their profession of faith with heroic deaths,” or people of the faith who lived exemplary lives. Yesterday was All Souls' Day/All Faithful Departed, an extension of All Saints, when the Church remembers the vast body of faithful departed known only to God, family, and friends. These people, whether Saints of the wider church or any number of faithful departed known only to family and friends, all have stories to tell; and by virtue of being part of the Church, they all represent a piece of our overall larger stories as faithful members of the body of Christ.
This coming Sunday we will be celebrating/commemorating All Saints'/Souls' Day as we transfer the appropriate lessons, read the necrology of those who have died this past year, and remember all those who have previously died. Those people all had/have stories to tell; and, to some extent, they all represent a piece of our overall larger story.
As part of the body of Christ we all have stories to tell. As part of the specific branch of the family tree known as Saint John's, we all have stories to tell. Some of those stories are better than others. Some stories are more memorable than others. Some stories we might barely remember. But we all have stories about the larger body of Christ; we all have stories about this specific place. And all of those stories represent a piece of our overall story.
This is the time of year when we remember the stories of those who have gone before us, and that is good and appropriate to do so. But let us also remember to share our own stories of our faith and this place with those who need to hear stories of hope, stories of tears, stories of joy, stories of resurrection, stories of faith. Because when all is said and done, it is our stories that enable us to connect with others.