Telling your story …

The Covington News - - RELIGION - Rev. Jan McCoy is the As­so­ciate Pas­tor of Cov­ing­ton First United Methodist Church in down­town Cov­ing­ton. She may be reached at or at cov­ing­ton­

Be­side the Sea of Galilee and up from Tiberias lies the Kib­butz Gi­nosar. A kib­butz is an area in Is­rael rich in farm­land and veg­e­ta­tion. Kib­butz com­mu­ni­ties rely on agri­cul­ture for their in­come, and much of the area’s fruits and veg­eta­bles come from th­ese com­mu­ni­ties. The Kib­butz Gi­nosar is also known as the place for the “res­ur­rec­tion” of a 2000 year old fish­ing ves­sel which dates back to the first cen­tury. Known as the “Je­sus boat,” this boat was prob­a­bly in use for many decades on the Sea of Galilee, and was the kind of boat that Je­sus and his dis­ci­ples may have crossed the sea in many times. Vis­i­tors can see this re­mark­able boat on dis­play, read about the de­tailed process of re­cov­er­ing this boat from its place in the mud of the re­ceded sea, and grab a cup of cof­fee in the lit­tle shop at the mu­seum.

As we en­tered the mu­seum and saw a film about the dis­cov­ery of this boat, I won­dered if this was the very boat that maybe Je­sus and his dis­ci­ples were sit­ting in when the storm arose one day on the sea. Or maybe if this was the boat that Je­sus used as a pul­pit to preach and teach from as the crowds gath­ered around the shore­line. Or, pos­si­bly, this was the boat that Je­sus walked up to in the mid­dle of the night, the same boat that Peter climbed out of to walk on the sea, the same boat that held the other 11 dis­ci­ples who wanted to re­main in the safe shel­ter of their com­fort­able faith. If this boat could talk, I won­der what sto­ries it would tell us about Je­sus call­ing his friends “ye of lit­tle faith”, or ex­actly how many fish were in the Res­ur­rec­tion Catch of the Day when the risen Je­sus made break­fast on the beach for his friends.

Each of us has a story to tell. The dis­ci­ples told their sto­ries of Je­sus in let­ters, ser­mons and sto­ries handed down through the cen­turies, and they are in­ter­est­ing and fun to read. Just like the boat and the dis­ci­ples, we each have a story to tell, and if we con­sider our­selves Chris­tians, we each have a story to tell of our ex­pe­ri­ence of know­ing and fol­low­ing Je­sus. We pass our sto­ries down from one per­son to an­other, from one gen­er­a­tion to an­other, just like the fol­low­ers of Je­sus did in the first cen­tury, and just like the his­tory rep­re­sented in this 2000 year old boat. Some­times our sto­ries are told with words, and some­times with just how we live our lives. The story of this boat sur­vives in its rich his­tory. Our sto­ries sur­vive in the hearts and minds of peo­ple we know and love. How are you telling your faith story so that oth­ers may be en­cour­aged in their own faith jour­neys?

“Je­sus be­gan to teach be­side the lake again. Such a large crowd gath­ered that he climbed into a boat there on the lake. He sat in the boat while the whole crowd was nearby on the shore. He said many things to them in parables.”

— Mark 4.1-2 (CEB)


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