REV VICKIE MORGAN: Jesus's story came alive
The curate, St Faith's Church, Havant on her pilgrimage to the Holy Land
On Wednesday, I came back from a week travelling through Israel and Palestine, seeing some of the places where Jesus lived 2,000 years ago.
Having the chance to visit places like Bethlehem, Jerusalem and Galilee with some of my clergy colleagues will be really helpful to me as I continue to work in Havant.
Among the things that will really stick in my mind is praying at the Western Wall, which is a holy place for Jews.
I thought it would be difficult for me, as men and women pray separately. But actually there was something about praying alongside other women – albeit of a different faith – that was really special.
And another thing that I think is vital, and which I will continue to use in my ministry, is storytelling.
Of course, Jesus was a brilliant storyteller, and we still use phrases today like Good Samaritan and Prodigal Son, which come from his parables.
What will enhance my ability to tell Bible stories is the experience of seeing for myself what the Holy Land is actually like.
It has made Jesus’s stories come alive for me, to see the places he was actually talking about.
I hope this will bring alive my preaching, as I help people to visualise the places they read about in their Bibles – not just to our congregations at St Faith’s, but when I go into schools and lead assemblies.
Telling these stories in a realistic or visual way can help all of us to sense the awesomeness of God in a way that talking in a more abstract way can’t achieve.
People remember stories that include personal experience and feelings more easily. I am not great at remembering facts and details, but I am good at remembering how things looked, how it made me feel and expressing the sense of awe and wonder in that experience to others.
And when people ask me about places they have read about in scripture, I will now have some sense of the geography of the area myself in order to help them.
St Faith’s Church is in West Street, Havant. Go to stfaith.com.