Cindy and I were down visiting my family during the second week of August. My parents bought an old farmhouse fifteen or so years ago, and it seems that some part of it always needs repairing. This summer it was the north side of the roof.
While we were down there, the family retold some of our favorite stories. The one about my dad and I getting stuck out all night on the side of a mountain and how we made a makeshift tent to keep from freezing to death. The one about the hairy, muddy family Golden Retriever lying down and refusing to take another step halfway down a hike from a mountain peak, and how my brother carried that smelly, dirty dog in his arms the rest of the way down and then went straight to work.
If you listen to these stories my family tells long enough, you begin to hear a pattern. Usually someone’s on a trip or working on some project and things go frustratingly wrong, but then the family perseveres and somehow makes things work out. Usually we’re all laughing at our past hardships and frustrations. Time and time again, my family’s stories follow this pattern.
My point here is that once you’ve heard a few of my family’s stories, you have a pretty good idea of the sort of people we are. And, so, when hard times arise, you know how we’ll probably respond. I suspect that if I hear enough of each of your stories, I’ll get a good idea of the sort of people you are.
I believe that Scripture tells us something similar this morning. In Psalm 111, we hear that if we tell and listen to the stories about our God often enough and for long enough, we’ll learn what to expect from God in the future and how to live with this sort of God.. The last verse of Psalm 111 sings, The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom; good understanding have all who do [his commandments]. His song of praise continues for ever.
(Check out the whole sermon after the jump. . .)