A while back, I was telling one of my fabulous stories when my daughter interrupted me.
“Dad,” Abby sighed, “you’ve already told me this one.”
“I have?” I asked. “Are you sure?”
“Yes. You’ve been repeating yourself a lot lately.”
I think this was my daughter’s way of telling me that I was getting older. They say the memory is the first to go. Or is it your hips? I can’t remember.
“Tell you what,” Abby said, “instead of me saying that you’re repeating a story, I’ll just throw out a code-word and then you can just stop.”
“Okay,” I reluctantly agreed. “What’s the code word?”
Abby thought for a second and then said, “How about flamingo?”
From that moment, “flamingo” has been heard a lot at my house. . .and in restaurants. . .and in the car. It doesn’t deter me, though, because I can always fit one of my time-honored stories into a sermon. Even if a congregation has heard it before, they would be too polite to yell “FLAMINGO!” from the pews. They usually just fall asleep.
I hope there is one story that we Christians never get tired of hearing and telling, and that’s the story of Jesus. Do you remember that old hymn by Fanny Crosby?
Tell me the story of Jesus,
write on my heart every word;
tell me the story most precious,
sweetest that ever was heard.
At the heart of this marvelous tale is salvation, not condemnation. It is, indeed, the Greatest Story Ever Told: a Shepherd who came for the lost, a Lamb that was slain, a tomb that is empty, the Lord who is coming back.
I’ll keep telling the story; how about you? However, when I re-tell the Gospel, please don’t cut in with a loud “FLAMINGO!” But I would welcome an “Amen” or two.
Flamingo picture courtesy of Ben_Kerckx via Pixabay