“Hymns link our stories—my story, your story, and the Church’s story to the Divine Story. God steps in to remake us, reconnect us to one another in new ways, and unite us in praise all our days,” says Rev. Andy James in this Lenten Reflection. Listen as he reminds us that God’s story of salvation and renewal is for us—individually and corporately. Faith stories are a form of testimony—a spiritual practice. It is a communal listening process where the community serves as witness to a person’s faith experience. Testimonies are stories told to and by people of faith which have the power to connect a community through mutual affirmation.
Anna Carter Florence, who teaches preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary, stated that testimony is “standing in the biblical text and in your own life and saying what you see and believe about God.” (See http://www.pcusa.org/news/2011/7/26/talking-about-god/
Every Sunday, as a child I listened to testimonies for hours on end. People testified to God’s intervention in their lives and their response to God’s presence as a sign of faithful obedience. Whether in the pulpit; on the front, back, side pews—or even on the corner stoop—telling stories is an African American tradition. We all have a story within a story—the divine story—that someone else needs to hear.
Andy asks, “What is your story? How does Lent help you see the intersections of your story with the Divine Story and with the story of other believers? Listen to his story at: https://youtu.be/kcXXHTMmsio.