Sometimes you have looked at something so many times or heard the same story over and over and it seems all too familiar. Oh, for eyes to see something new and a heart that is open to what God has to show you.
Recently Oral Bible Storytelling (OBS) workshops began for a new cluster of languages in the North Palei district, near Nuku, north of the Sepik highway. Six language groups arrived in Wewak ready to learn what OBS was all about. Trainers had carefully picked the stories for this first course. Their desire was to give participants stories that wouldn’t be too challenging to learn and yet would also give them a good foundation to some of God’s talk. They also wanted to do a couple Christmas stories as this would be the first time these groups would have some of God’s Word in their language at Christmas.
One of the Christmas stories picked was the Shepherds and the Angels. A story familiar to most, but many of the participants saw it in a whole new way. After the story was told during devotions, the group grappled with application questions so they could interact with the story on a heart level. This is often the time where new insights are shared and eyes are opened.
When referring to Jesus coming to the earth and being placed in a manger (something dirty and lowly), one man said: “That is just like in my life. My life is like the manger (a place that was dirty and no good), and now Jesus has come into my life and changed me.”
Another man, as he grappled with who Jesus really is, said: “I can no longer worship anyone else. I can only worship Jesus.”
As you come into the Christmas season, where things might have become too familiar, take some time to look at things in a new way. Read them and hear them like it is your first time and see if God won’t speak new truth into your heart as well.