This week’s article is written by Rev. Jim Wheeler, a member of Godfrey First United Methodist Church, 1100 Airport Road.
Listening to my aging father share stories from his childhood and war years realized, I needed to write these down. These stories are collectibles for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. These stories are who our parents were, and living memories of where they came from, their challenges, wins and losses, their faith and inspiration. Such collectible stories might help us and our children understand where they came from, have faith in who they are, and be inspired to make their own witness in the future.
I can think of a lot of things I have collected over the years: Bibles, crosses, books, Christian magazines, devotionals and sermons. What will be collectibles in the future? I have heard many testimonies and witnesses over my pastoral career. What I should have done was collect those stories and testimonies. They might help the future church.
It occurred to me that we should do what the early Christians did by putting the Bible together with their Jewish legacy. They collected the stories, testimonies, witnesses, wisdom, histories, and they called that collection the Bible. This collection was a witness that called, instructed, converted, trained and empowered individuals to embrace their faith and share it with their neighbors.
Such an ancient collection changed the world, and still does where it is allowed to be shared. It is a collectible for faith, hope, love and life testimonies, but maybe we need some new, living ones. What if we collected the stories, testimonies and witness of our families that shape our lives today and bring them into the future with renewed value? These might truly be personal, family Bibles.