Finding Ourselves in the Story
The church at its heart is a people bound by a common story: the story of God and God’s people, which we confess is found in Holy Scripture. To live a life of faith is to live by this story—which when we’re truly paying attention is revealed to be a very different story than is told outside the church.
Light from darkness,
Love casting our fear,
Life hiding behind death.
This is the story we tell and do our best to live by together.
Over the coming academic year, as we have the past two years, we will once again immerse ourselves in this story by following its thread in the focus of our worship hour.
We began this past Sunday with the second chapter of Genesis and the story God forming the first human out of the “dust of the earth,” and said tha part of what it means to be human is to be created by loving God for a specific purpose: to care for the rest of creation. This is our first vocation as human beings. Over the next two weeks we’ll continue with this story of "creation," looking first at what’s commonly known as “the Fall” (though the Bible itself never calls it that), and then continuing on to the tragic story of Cain and Able. From there we'll work our way through some of the major stories of the Old Testament, until Christmas when we’ll celebrate the story of Christ’s birth.
After Christmas we’ll work our way through the story of Jesus as told by the Gospel of Mark, and then the story of the early church, so that by the end of the school year we will have traced the story of our faith through the entire Bible.
Of course, we’ll be doing all of this at the same time as Write the Vision, the process through which we as a church will celebrate our past, study our present, and discern God’s vision for our future. For us to do this visioning process well, we will not only have to know the story of our church, but also how we as a church fit into the larger story of what God is up to in the world. It’s my hope that this extended sermon and worship focus will help us do just that. We’ll ask questions like:
• What is God’s great vision for the world?
• How has God communicated this vision to people through the generations?
• How does our story as a church reflect this larger vision?
• How is God calling us as a church and each of us individually to be a part of this vision?
I’m excited to begin this journey through Scripture together again. And I hope that by tracing the story of God and God’s people in this way we’ll not only come to know the story better, but even more, we’ll be better able to find ourselves in it.