"Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!" - Psalm 107:2 (KJV)
According to Maya Angelou,"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you . . .
The narratives of the Bible take on texture, taste and smell when they intersect with our own narratives. The stories of God's interactions with the characters of the Bible become real for us when we see our experiences reflected in the text.
No wonder the Psalmist exhorts each of us to speak the truth according to who we are. We are invited to join those who wrote the Bible by expressing the biographic particularities of our own faith journeys with all of their drama, anxiety, stress,disillusionment, strife, perplexity, pain, hope and promise.
The greatest gift that we can give to each other is the gift of our own authenticity. Solet's tell our stories. Let's speak our own truth. Let's own our own experiences.
Let the story of the hunt be informed by the testimony of the lion as well as the hunter.
In the Black Church,preaching is not a singular exercise. The preacher begins the story,but the congregation then joins the preacher in telling the story. At any given point, the congregation talks back to the preacher, with exclamations of 'Amen,' 'Say it preacher,' 'Stay Right there,''We hear you, Reverend,' 'You're on it today,' and countless other expressions that transport the act of preaching from a platform of singular performance into an arena of shared expression.
The word of God is not just shaped and defined by those who wrote it and those who preach it, but by all who hear it and embrace it.
God, we thank you for the Good News according to us. Amen.