I’m totally hooked on the TV show Friday Night Lights. Yes, I know the show has actually been off the air since 2011; I tend not to catch on to the good stuff until it’s released in box set. Thanks to the convenience of Netflix, I don’t have to wait a week to watch the next episode, so I’ve been watching an episode or two almost every night for the past few weeks.
It’s gotten to the point (the sad point?) where I think of the characters on the show as real people. I find myself seeking out friends who’ve watched the show and saying things like, “Don’t you just love Matt Saracen?” Or “Buddy Garrity drives me crazy,” and “I can’t believe Lila did that!” Events in everyday life make me think of something that happened two episodes ago, and I wonder WWCTD (What Would Coach Taylor Do?). I bring up Friday Night Lights in conversation and encourage people who haven’t seen it to start watching it.
I’m now in the last season of the show, and I’m trying to slow myself down so I don’t get to the finale too soon. I’m not ready for it to be over.As silly as it may seem to feel so strongly about a TV show and its characters, I’m guessing I’m not the only one. Maybe for you it’s West Wing, Friends, LOST, Breaking Bad, or The Good Wife. (If you’re a fellow Friday Night Lights groupie, let me know!) Our love for these shows and their characters is a testament to the power of stories. A good story captures our attention and sticks with us even when it’s over. A good story can challenge us and inspire us to make a change in our lives, to work to heal a relationship, to try again.
This understanding of the power of stories is what’s behind “The Stories We Tell,” our formation theme this year. As Christians, we learn and study the stories of the Bible, trusting that they help us better understand who we are and who God is. We share our own stories – stories of success and loss, stories of defining moments in our lives and of mundane daily routines – and we listen to the stories of others.
The more I think about it, the more I think that story may be one of the greatest gifts we share with each other as the church. This community is one where we practice being honest about our own stories and where we open ourselves to being transformed by the stories of Scripture and our neighbors.
As we begin this new program year at FPC, I hope you’ll find a place to connect with the story of our church and our ministries and a place to share your own story. Personally, I can’t wait to see what happens next in the story God is telling through the people of First Presbyterian.