Henry Plona, my wife’s father, was a great storyteller. Whenever we were together, he never missed an opportunity to tell me a story about his past. Of course, I heard some of his stories more than once. He’d usually start by saying, “Did I ever tell you about the time…?” The likely answer to that question would invariably be, “Yes, you did.” But I never responded in that way. Instead, I would let him tell me the story again. Truth be told, now that Henry is gone, I miss hearing those old stories.
When it comes to telling stories of things that have happened in the past, God’s people should be like my father-in-law, ready to tell the stories to anyone who is willing to listen and as often as necessary. In Psalm 78:4, the psalmist declares that God’s instructions, deeds, power, and wonders should never be hidden from our children, but should be told to all generations. The amazing things that God has done in our lives should be told to our children so that they can tell their children, on and on through generations to come (Joel 1:3).
Perhaps the greatest story that we can tell is the story of the love that God showed for all of us when He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the price for our sins. He did this so that, if we believe in Him, we will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). The story of Jesus – His sacrifice for us, His birth, His life, His death on the cross, and His resurrection – is the greatest story ever told. It is a story that we need to tell, not just to our children, but to anyone and everyone who needs to hear it.
One of the verses of the beloved hymn, I Love to Tell the Story, says: