So the Gospel is written so that we may recognize that (as the hymn has it) ”˜this is our story, this is our song’. Just as when Peter begins to speak of Jesus ministering, loving, dying, rising, the excitement of recognition is too much to contain, and the Holy Spirit floods and invades. And what of us, as heirs of the apostolic witness, how do we begin to tell a story that makes things happen? Because that’s our charge, that’s our task, and we have to tell the story of Jesus in such a way that all those who listen say to themselves, ”˜Yes: this is my story and I never knew it. This is the world in which I belong; this is my inheritance, though I have never lived there.’
So we seek to speak in words that evoke that kind of recognition, knowing that””in the phrases of the Old Testament lesson this evening”””˜The word is not far from any of us.’ And if we tell truthfully and joyfully the story of Jesus, then the Word of God embodied in that story and in that person, will indeed not be far from any of our hearers.
In these last two weeks we’ve often spoken, both in the bishops’ and in the spouses’ conference, about telling our stories. It’s almost a clichÃ©, isn’t it? In a good and properly organized Christian meeting we tell our stories. And that is right and proper, because one of the most significant things any believer can ever do is to say, ”˜Come, and I will tell you what he has done for my soul.’ But as we listen to one another’s stories, I hope and pray that i we have also heard and recognized the one story that makes a difference, the one story that changes the world, that changes how we see ourselves and God and everything. And if that has been part of our experience in this conference, then perhaps we can go back to our local apostolic ministries””and I should add that I mean lay and ordained apostolic ministries here””to tell the story of this meeting, this Lambeth Conference, in such a way that it becomes itself a story that makes things happen. We can ask God to strengthen us and enable us, so to talk about what we’ve received here that something shifts and grows and deepens in the Christian communities to which we belong. We can try to tell the story of the Lambeth ’08 Conference so that something happens, so that Christ comes alive in others.
Read it all.