As you read this I’m enjoying so rest and relaxation with family and friends in Chicago and Madison, WI (or at least when I wrote this and originally sent it out in the newsletter, I was!). While I’m sure my vacation will be filled with lots of good food, fellowship, and reading, I also have a feeling that my attention to what I experienced Tuesday night with Brian McLaren. If you didn’t get a chance to attend, I encourage you to seek out those who did and ask them what they thought.
Brian had many helpful insights to share but the one that is playing about in my mind is one about our framing story. He suggested that there were several key crisis going on in our world right now – the crises of the planet, poverty, and peace. But perhaps the most profound crisis is that of our purpose.
Somewhere along the way, people of faith have forgotten the Good News. We buy into the stories dominance (we’ll only be safe unless we’re in control), accumulation (we’ll only be safe if we have more and more), purification (we’ll only be safe if that certain group is ‘taken care of’), and others. Brian pointed out that in his life and teachings, Jesus refuted all these stories that we’ve bought into – giving us a new framing story, giving us the Good News of the Kingdom of God: a kingdom that is at hand today.
In this story, instead of domination we know service and love; instead of accumulation we know about self-giving and sacrifice; instead of purification we know about embracing and including the outcast. Jesus shows us another way to live. He shows us The Way.
Brian suggests that many of our world’s crises would be best met by a story other than the one many of us seem to be telling through both our words and our actions. Stories of dominance, accumulation, and the like have not served us well. But we have another story to tell. The story of the Good News is one for the whole world – and one we Christians need to reclaim and start living fully.
As you go about your daily living this next week, I encourage you to join with me in wondering: what story am I telling? At work, at school, at the grocery store, what story do our words and actions tell? Is it the Good News or is it something else?