Before there was Sirius XM radio, and even before there were numerous FM stations playing top 40 hits, there were classic AM radio shows. One of the best was Paul Harvey. He had that natural radio announcer voice that drew the listener in to whatever he was saying. There were pieces that he shared that helped define what America was like in the middle of the last century. “So God Made A Farmer,” is still one of the best broadcasts I have heard. (https://youtu.be/ZRDaPEaDJ7E).
My favorite segment of his broadcast was titled: “And Now You Know the Rest of the Story.” There are over 3,000 of these 3-5 minute segments which would describe an event in a person’s life or a moment that would have an influence on history that seemed rather insignificant at the time. Paul Harvey would offer a few details, even a couple of hints in the story as he related details about a person’s early life. But it wasn’t until the reveal at the end, which preceded his famous tagline, that evoked a smile or nod from the listening audience.
Paul was a true storyteller. He had a gift for recognizing our potential. He took ordinary life experiences and shared how, in this one person, they became the foundation for who they would one day be. A lesson in school, the purchase of a toy or modeling kit, the first time someone saw a movie, entered a competition, or found inspiration to pursue a particular career were the ingredients in Paul Harvey’s works.
Pastors and laity are called to preach. We have a story to tell the nations. It is the best story our Creator offers us. The Great Commission (Matthew 28: 16-20) invites us to share the Good News of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Our Lord has brought us a new and everlasting covenant, so that one day we may all feast at the heavenly banquet. Each of us is called to share how lives are continually transformed. We have a rich heritage of people in the Old and New Testaments who have shaped our own faith journeys.
Samuel was a small boy, helping Eli in the temple when the Lord called him by name. Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, a foreigner, a Moabitess until they returned to Naomi’s hometown. David was a shepherd who probably longed to join his brothers in battle before the day he met Goliath. Rahab sheltered two of Joshua’s spies, changing her life and the life of her family. A young girl named Mary was visited by an angel of God and told she would bear a son who she was to name Jesus. Four fishermen were invited to become fishers of people. Sight was restored to the blind, lepers were healed and a paralyzed man walked again. Men and women were forgiven for their sins, and 70 persons were sent out to visit towns and villages ahead of Jesus’ arrival.
All these things happened so that we might know the awesome power of our Lord. His steadfast love truly endures forever. And because we know the rest of the story, that one day our Lord and Savior will return in glory, revealing all that He has done and will do for our salvation, we can tell the rest of the story. And Amen.