Stories are the most powerful means to convey truth. That’s why Jesus continually taught in stories (or parables). Movies that are based on ‘true stories’ are often our favorite because the story is real, personal, and moves us emotionally. We all have our own stories, but sometimes we don’t reflect on them very deeply, or take the time to understand what has truly shaped us and created the lenses that we see the world through. We also need to learn and grow in drawing out, and really hearing other people’s stories – especially stories of pain and hurt – like the stories of racism that are rising to the surface and being seen, heard and told in our world today. It’s challenging all of us to learn how to listen, reflect deeply, and walk alongside each other in our stories.

But what gives context and meaning to all our stories, is God’s story, which includes us in it. It’s the one that is written through the pages of Scripture, inviting us in to continue to write with our lives today. It’s a comprehensive story of reconciliation and hope, found in Jesus Christ as the center and foundation. Jesus gives purpose, power, and maturity to the church, his body, in order that we might together live out a better story (Ephesians 1:22-23).