12/20/2015 Shaun, Matt late 20’s
From “It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense” thirty years ago to “There are stories about what happened.” “It’s true. All of it… they’re real.” Yes, I saw Star Wars last night. And yes, that was the line that impacted me the most. Why? Because people can change. As long as we are alive, the story isn’t over. And the story is about so much more than the Dark Side or Jedi Knights. God isn’t through with us yet. There is hope. That’s why I left a basketball court this afternoon with just as much joy in my heart as when I left church this morning. I had proclaimed Jesus in both places – at church, in worship, sharing in song both prayers of adoration and creeds of faith with fellow believers. On the basketball court, I met Shaun and Matt, both in their late 20’s, both non-believers - or could they be pre-believers? They didn’t know each other and were practicing at opposite ends of the court, but shared the same skepticism toward the things of God. Both mentioned the recent activities of ISIS as reason not to believe as well as their faith in science. They sounded like the Hans Solo of thirty years ago. But the story isn’t over.
Could Shaun and Matt be like the shepherds in the fields so many years ago? “An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ ” Yes, Shaun and Matt have heard that “There are stories about what happened.” And I had the joy, the same joy the angels had I believe, to tell them “It’s true. All of it… they’re real.”