I Love to Tell the Story

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November 2014

The words of Katherine Hankey’s hymn “ I Love to Tell the Story” have been ringing in my heart, mind and soul since the marketing committee shared the new approach to the face which we are intentionally sharing with the world. The hymn begins with the verse which reads:

I love to tell the story of unseen things above of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love. I love to tell the story, because I know it’s true; it satisfies my longings as nothing else can do.

There is nothing that can fill our souls like the love of Jesus. There is nothing that can revive our spirits like the intervention of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing that can inspire our lives like the grace of God. It is the experience with the Holy Trinity that provides the baseline for all of the stories which we share as members of the Nativity community.

In November we celebrate our story. The Gospel story in our lives as the Church (the Body of Christ) especially in this place and in this time at the Cathedral Church of the Nativity. As we begin our 153rd year as a congregation we are thankful for our time together in worship, formation, fellowship and mission. We continue to grow in our relationships with one another and with God and we seek to build upon these relationships and share the story near and far.

Hankey’s hymn continues with the following verse: I love to tell the story more wonderful it seems than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams. I love to tell the story, it did so much for me; I tell it now to thee.

The story we share is richer than gold, richer than much fine gold, the love that we have for one another is sweeter still than honey than honey in the comb but we do find that when we share our riches with one another our ministry grows and our mission is shared with not only those who are members here but with friends and family who may only drop in on occasion. We have seen this in our Celtic spirituality nights and at our St Francis Day GIFT Gathering. We know the love of Christ is transformative and we cannot help but share it. It is in the telling and retelling of our story that those who know and love us learn the story of salvation – Hankey summarizes this sentiment in the third verse of her hymn: this pleasant to repeat, what seems each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet. I love to tell the story for some have never heard the message of salvation from God’s own holy word.

This is why during our anniversary celebration GIFT Gathering, instead of a mission collection like we have had in the past few months (the September School Supply Collection and the October Animal Needs Collection) we are instead collecting the stories of Nativity. We are inviting anyone who wishes to record a video message which will be stored in our digital archives, and may be used on our website, or on our social media pages to share our love of God and this place. We ask you to consider sharing the following information in your short video:

  • Who you are (your name).
  • How long you have worshipped at the Cathedral.
  • A recollection that you think well encapsulates your experience at the cathedral (your favorite memory).

We ask that these stories be less than 5 minutes in length, but we know that some will be shorter and some will be longer.

The final images which conclude the hymn beautifully summarize what I think our marketing folks and the theme behind our November GIFT Gathering and Collection aim to do. Sometimes we need reminding that we are part of the oldest story, but that we should tell the newest chapters of the story, as Hankey says in her final lines: “for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song, ’twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.”

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