Families Encounter Jesus in Their Own Stories

Over the Christmas holidays, we visited with family from far and near. We gathered around the festive table and reminisced about the past year, and even retold old stories that we always tell when we come together. We tell the stories that make us laugh and the stories of love that make our eyes moist when we tell them again. We don’t have them written down; we know them by heart.

Stories teach us life has a shape. Life has beginnings, endings, turns, returns.  Life has ups and downs, losses and triumphs. Stories teach us that there is hope, even when things look dark and hopeless.

What were some of your favorite stories when you were a child? Can you tell why you liked those ones?

Christ is at work in the events and struggles of daily family life. Our religious heritage is founded on the power of story. Bible came from stories told and retold orally. If you had to pick a favorite bible story, what would it be? Why is it a favorite?

If we want to pass on our complete faith to our children, we must work to make these stories part of their lives.

Telling bible stories in your own words - Some tips:

1.            Know the story yourself. Show resource books.

2.            Set a time to tell stories, a “campfire” time.

3.            Be expressive, dramatic.

4.            Search out the fuller meaning of the Sunday readings and share with the family in the car or over breakfast.

5.            Get some good books of Bible stories.  I love this book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

6.            Don’t be afraid to retell stories in your own words.

7.            Be selective. Not all stories should be retold to children (use your own judgment).

8.            Deepen your own understanding and love of Scripture. I recommend the Catholic Study Bible.