Second Sunday of Easter
April 19, 1998
|Acts 5:27-32||We must obey God and tell The Story||156: I Love to
Tell the Story
165: Hallelujah! What a Savior
170: O How I Love Jesus
277: Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
372: How Can We Sinners Know
467: Trust and Obey
514: Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus
|God is our strength and our salvation
Praise the Lord!
|66: Praise, My Soul, the
King of Heaven
96: Praise the Lord Who Reigns Above
98: To God Be the Glory
379: Blow Ye the Trumpet, Blow
|John 20:19-31||Believe, and have peace||372: How Can We Sinners
562: Jesus, Lord, We Look to Thee
|Revelation 1:4-8||The God of all time||103: Immortal, Invisible,
God Only Wise
117: O God, Our Help in Ages Past
Words by Katherine Hankey
Music by William G. Fischer
Tune name: HANKEY
I moved several times as a child. I lived in several homes on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States. My earliest clear memories take me back to Succasunna, New Jersey, where I attended kindergarten. I remember flying newspaper kites with long tails. I remember the big tree in the back yard with the rope that I would swing on. I remember my grandfather whittling whistles as he sat at the redwood picnic table near that tree. So many wonderful memories! I love to tell those stories.
There is another important story of my life that began there. You see, a very special woman lived there. She was a member of a local church and she invited my family to visit. I remember her name. It was Lorraine. I think that I remember walking along the road to her church, but I'm not very sure. What I do remember, though, is that she was genuinely happy to be going to church, and to be bringing us, too.
Lorraine loved to "tell the story." She told the story with her words. She told the story with her smile. She told the story with her attitude. She told the story with her actions. She told a story of joy and peace; a story of strength and hope. She told the story of Christ. And the beauty of that story showed in her life. My family had gone to church before we met Lorraine, but for me, at least, it was her story that made me know that I wanted to be part of a church family.
After I was grown, I met Lorraine again in Oklahoma. Well, it wasn't really Lorraine. This time it was a woman named Grace. My wife and I were looking for a church where we could raise our own family. Grace introduced herself and made us a part of her church family, just as Lorraine had done when I was a child. And she did it in exactly the same way--she loved to "tell the story," and she did it with her whole life.
The disciples were instructed by the Jewish leaders not to teach in Christ's name. They were threatened, and later on they would be martyred. Yet they told the story with joy and conviction, just as the Psalmist had before them, and just as Lorraine and Grace did in the 20th century. There must be something compelling about telling the story of God's love.
This week's featured hymn talks about loving to tell the story. It doesn't actually tell the stories themselves. But when we read the words, we are instantly reminded of our favorite stories of Christ--His glory, His love, His saving sacrifice, His kingdom in heaven. Here are the words. Take a minute and read them. When you think of a story, stop and smile.
1. I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love. I love to tell the story, because I know 'tis true; it satisfies my longings as nothing else can do. (Refrain) 2. I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams. I love to tell the story, it did so much for me; and that is just the reason I tell it now to thee. (Refrain)
3. I love to tell the story; 'tis pleasant to repeat what seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet. I love to tell the story, for some have never heard the message of salvation from God's own holy Word. (Refrain) 4. I love to tell the story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song, 'twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long. (Refrain)
Refrain: I love to tell the story, 'twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love.
Now didn't that feel good? Don't you suppose those wonderful stories would make others feel just as good? Well then, go tell them! And by the way, while you are telling the story of Jesus' love, it is OK for you to enjoy it, too.
An excellent history of this hymn and its writer, Katherine Hankey, can be found as #37 of Osbeck's collection of "Short Stories of Great Hymn Writers," http://www.luminet.net/~irv/hymns/hymnfr.htm. Another very good discussion of this hymn, as well as the tune by William G. Fischer, can be found at the United Methodist Reporter's web site, http://www.umr.org/SFhym123.htm.
God bless you--
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|