Whose Story? His-story
Today's sermon offered the question of which story we'll enter as each of us moves to live out the rest of our days. Though there are shades of distinction, and though the stories are at times indistinguishable, the reality is that there are, broadly, two stories available to all of us.
The first is that story which places man at the center and says that our hope for a better future lies in some human based source (education, economic theory, political or military power, improvement of, or destruction of technology, etc. etc.)
The second story dares to suggest that the world is under a spell which can only be broken by a prince, or perhaps a king. It goes on to say that, indeed the spell IS broken, and that now we can live out our days involved in a story of transformation: our own transformation as we deal with those issues in our lives that tend towards our destruction, and social transformation, as we collectively participate in communities that purpose to live under the reing of the King who has broken the curse by his death, and his conquering of death. It sounds like an outlandish fairy tale... and would be exactly both of those things were it not for the truth of it. The people who live in this story embody hope, and set about the business of blessing others and standing for the ethic of the new king - an ethic which calls for love towards enemies, and generosity to the needy, and deliverance of captives, and recovery... and so much more that is hopeful.
We can parrot the words of Christianity, and yet continue to live in the wrong story. I pray that today I'll listen to the risen Christ long enough to hear him, as he invites me to move more fully onto the page of His-story.
The other page? The answer always seems to be a chapter away... the next economic program, the next war to end all wars, the next presidential candidate, the next strategy to save glaciers, destroy terrorism, and defeat genocide. And yet, when we turn the page, answers remain elusive. Thank God there's a different story - a story rooted in transformation. I'm hoping that a year from now, I'll be more firmly planted in that story than ever. If I am... I'll be offering hospitality, loving neighbors, serving the poor, being freed from my own issues, and declaring the good news that because the King beat death - the curse has been broken!