The Real Story
20 September 2016
Reading: Daniel 5-6; Psalm 130; Luke 3
1 It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. (Luke 3:1-2 NLT)
In Daniel 5 and 6, four emperors are listed: Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar the Babylonians, Darius the Mede, and Cyrus the Persian. But the Real Story is about Daniel. In Luke 3 the Roman emperor, the Roman governor of Judea, the rulers of Iturea and Abilene, and the chief Jewish priests are all listed. But the Real Story is about John.
There’s important stuff going on all the time. The Real Story may not involve the big people and the big names and the big organizations. The Real Story may involve seemingly insignificant people who are overlooked by the high rollers and power mongers.
Recently I spent a few hours listening to and telling stories. For an hour and a half, I drank coffee and talked with a young man God has called out of darkness into light and who I believe will shine a light into many dark places. Then I spent the next couple of hours talking with a man who is really hitting his stride as a leader and influencer in his church and the local Christian community. I listened, asked questions or made suggestions, and occasionally interjected a little story from my own life.
It was a good day—well spent in Kingdom of God work—as all three of us received encouragement, challenge, and insight for the next steps of our journey.
Every person I encounter is living a story. When I am thinking about them, talking with them, praying for them, I intersect with their story. In fact, however briefly, or however significantly, I become part of their story. I need to check with the script-writer, the Holy Spirit, and see what my role is in their story in this moment.
Father, Please help me to be fully engaged with every person you want me to connect with. I want to give each person my full and undistracted attention. Help me to watch, listen, and participate in the story of the moment. Help me to never forget that the Real Story is the story you’re telling in each life in this moment. Amen.