We live in a world full of stories. From classic literature to the multitude of TV shows, what is it about these stories that captivate and enthrall us? Is it the comic relief? Is it suspense? Is it the idealistic lifestyles? What draws us to spend our time learning about the lives of these characters rather than learning about our own character?
Some of the best stories draw us in because they dive into the battle of good, evil, and mans’ purpose in life. But there is an even greater story than Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, which we are invited into.
God story of redemption.
When we read the Bible, we‘re not reading God’s story. We‘re reading our story too. We are part of the drama. When our own life gets interwoven to the greater story of God’s redemption there is an amazing adventure ahead of us.
Here is the secret no one is talking about.
Our Christian life is not just about getting to Heaven. Heaven is real. Heaven is essential. And Heaven is beautiful. But Heaven is not a reality we hope for “someday” with cherubs, harps, and clouds. Heaven begins now.
The “Good News” Jesus came to preach about was the Kingdom of God coming to earth right in the middle of our current lives (cf. Mark 1:5). Everything in the Christian life should be centered around living out the love, power, and justice of God’s Kingdom right here, right now.
One of my favorite contemporary theologians, N.T. Wright, explains how we often miss the full picture of Christianity because we don’t understand scripture from a Jewish context.
First-century Jews believed the coming Messiah would inaugurate the Kingdom of God, a restored Eden, where redeemed human beings would be liberated from sin, death, illness, and other corruptions.
This Kingdom was inaugurated at the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. However, is far from complete and requires active participation of God’s people to be fulfilled (cf. Matthew 5:3–12).
It was through Israel, that God would address and solve the problems of the world, … with a statement of the covenant: “God has called Israel to be the light to the nations, the teacher of the foolish, the guide to the blind.” (see N.T. Wright’s Creation & Covenant) Indeed, doing God’s Kingdom work has come to be known in Judaism as tikkun olam, or “repairing the world.”
That means, we have a part to play in God’s redemptive work; in repairing the world.
I spent many years of my life never feeling enough, always comparing myself, my gifts, and my ministry to others. I looked at other people’s lives to guess at what I could or should be doing with mine, but God doesn’t need you to be someone else, to have their gifts, qualities or personality. He needs you to Be YOU.
Being you means reclaiming the truth about the person you are – the imperfect, the unique, the complex YOU. It means no longer comparing your story to someone else’s, but seeing how your life is an important part of God’s greater story.
The truth is we all play a unique role – as teachers, business executives, mothers, cashiers, artists, students, and friends – we all have a part in a bigger story. This realization, changed my life!
Our faith isn’t as a Sunday kind of thing, but a spirit-filled, bad-ass adventure that can transform the word in small and big ways! It begins with you saying yes.