An Irish yarn...
The Irish love a good yarn (or so we have heard) to listen to. They also like to tell a tall tale - and with a reputation for a good measure of blarney they can lay it on thick! St Patrick's day is a good day to remember all things Irish, and no doubt there will be many a yarn being spun over a pint or two. Stories of Irish men and women, of Irish places and family history.
I have a feeling that Patrick, the man behind this Saint's day, would have liked a good story too, even though he wasn't actually Irish. He must have had a good way of speaking, or holding people's attention, because he was able to establish an astonishing number of Christian churches in Ireland in his day. They say he used the shamrock, the tiny three-parted leaf, to help explain the Trinity. He was able to use something familiar, something commonplace, to illustrate his story and to make it meaningful to his listeners. His story obviously worked, as thousands of Irish turned to Christianity during his 40 years of ministry.
Yes, I'd say he was definitely a good storyteller.
Christians should be sharing their stories today as well. We sometimes think we need to have something remarkable to say, but really, we just need to be ourselves, and let the remarkable part come from God. But there is still room to improve how we tell our stories, and ample room to learn when to listen as well. Christians can help encourage one another by their individual stories, as well as encourage those who profess little, or no, belief.
The Hope Project has some great ideas and tips for you to tell YOUR story. You don't need to have a big audience. You don't need to have a big evangelistic budget and goal. You don't need to embellish your story with blarney or rush to a punch line. Ordinary people DO have relevant stories to tell. What a shame it would be if we were afraid to tell our stories, out of fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, or fear of antagonism. When God works in our lives, or changes our hearts, His story becomes our story.
You have a story. Why not take up a St Patrick's Day challenge, and tell your story.
May the light of God shine through your words.
May your lips speak of His mercy and grace
May your love of God show in all you do, and
May His story be told in every place.
For resources on telling your story, and starting conversations on spiritual topics, see The Hope Project resources at alltogether.co.nz and the refreshed Hope project site.
(cover image - shamrock frame - designed by freepik.com)