"He was never without a story."
My grandfather was a music educator and a minister of music. Raised a Quaker, he was the choir director for a succession of Methodist churches, and was a music teacher in various schools. When I expressed an interest in playing clarinet, Papa offered his services as a teacher. From then on, every Saturday morning was spent with Papa, but the music was only part of the lesson.
Papa was never without a story. These were stories of his life, the first time he met my grandmother, some of the notable students he taught over the years, of the weekly train ride he took when he was young, from Glens Falls to New York City and back for his lessons and more. He had stories of love, loss, friendship, family, and funny lyrics that had been lost to a changing culture - but Papa knew them. When he died, the stories were left behind, and all those lessons he taught planted like little seeds. Every so often I am reminded of something Papa said to me during those clarinet lessons, the seed he planted so long ago sprouts, and I am reminded both of this person who was so much a part of my growing up, but also the lessons he attempted to impart. Some of Papa's lessons definitely landed in fertile soil, others shriveled before I could take them in, and still stories seemed to be dead seed, but with the right conditions I remember the wisdom.
Storytelling as a way of delivering a lesson is not a new concept, not even new for Jesus. There are examples in the Old Testament of parables used to impart wisdom. This summer, it is my hope that we all will explore these lesson-stories of Jesus, and perhaps a new seed will germinate within us all.
~Rev. Andrea Joy Holroyd