In the beginning there was a story.
A story which had been handed down, from generation to generation, for thousands of generations. A story about the beginning of things … or, more accurately, the point of things. A story of beauty, love, creativity, and victory. A story which brings people together. A story that was compelling, provocative, and fantastic. A story of the way things should be.
But, that story was butchered in the retelling.
The hearers of the story hijacked the plot. They used the story to gain power and prominence for their desires and for their benefit. The story was a means to a destination … a place of ruling power which would give them the capacity to rule over all people. The “God” of the story became a war-hungry, power-seeking entity on the side of a certain nation.
The story was ransacked.
And so, there becomes a need to revive the story. To settle the mis-tellings and inaccuracies with an additional story … an additional story which is really just a new telling of the original story. But, if this additional story is to have merit … it must be more than words. It must be lived. It must be … the story with us. Emmanuel.
Through Jesus, God is reviving a story.
He has not re-written the story. He has not abandoned the original dream. He has not given up hope. The dream isn’t dead. The story is still alive. After all, Jesus said “I have not come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come to bring them to fulfillment.” is injecting new passion into an ancient dream … re-focusing hearts and hands to long forgotten desires and priorities. Through Jesus, God re-tells the creative narrative of love and alliance through actions and interactions. Through stories and sermons, Jesus calls attention back to the narrative. Through healing the blind, lame, sick, and dead … Jesus draws the audience deeper into the story. And by walking with and asking for others to follow and witness this story in new ways … Jesus is inviting an estranged and confused audience back into the story.
The story will allow this.
You see, the narrative seeks to include rather than alienate. It seeks to refine rather than destroy. It seeks to endure rather than to pass away. The story will allow it’s enemies back in. It will embrace those who’ve ransacked it’s message. It will correct the damage done by the mis-tellings by creative inclusion and re-definition. It will, in a real and tangible sense, rebirth the enemy and the opposing … creating allies and agents of the new telling of the story.
Once ransacked, the story is now rescued and on the move.
Redefining history, re-writing despair, and launching us forward … in a real, tangible way the kingdom of heaven is among us. It’s within us. It’s all around us. It’s here … active, living, creating, redeeming, rescuing. The story is moving and gaining fame among our stories.
So the question is … what stories are we telling?