Storytelling is a form of the ancient communal spiritual discipline of hospitality. It is a communal process of transforming sojourners into kinfolk and strangers into friends. The voice of the story resonates from deep within the body and imagination of its teller, and its vibrations reach into the physical and imaginative depths of the listener. The images that linger on the outskirts of consciousness and the voices that continue to sound in the ear of the heart are the threads that connect us to those who have known and loved the story across the ages. To be invited into the world of a story is to be offered the hospitality of the community of people who live by that story.
—Michael E. Williams, “Homecoming,” The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent Reader, compiled by Benjamin Howard (Upper Room Books, 2019)
When have you received hospitality or extended hospitality with an invitation into the world of a story? Join the conversation.
As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
—Mark 6:34 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
God, thank you for what is just around the corner. In a season filled with the longest, darkest nights, I await the coming of the most beautiful light.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Join us for The Wondrous Mystery: An Upper Room Advent eCourse. Beginning next week and throughout Advent, we will gather online for weekly guided spiritual practice sessions, group learning, and facilitated discussion. The eCourse also includes daily readings from this week’s featured book, The Wondrous Mystery. Register here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.