Okay, I’m pretty much done with this, but there was one more thing that struck me about “The Story We Find Ourselves In” by Brian D. McLaren. [If you’re interested, previous posts about this book are as follows: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.]
The episodes of the story of God and humans are:
Ep. One: Creation: God creates the universe
Ep. Two: Crisis: Humans decide they don’t need to keep the boundaries God has set and sin[evil] enters the world.
Ep. Three: Calling or Conversation: God calls Abraham into a relationship with him and then speaks to the Israelites through priests, prophets, poets and philosophers.
Ep. Four: Christ. The most important part and the one I’ve spent the least time on. [something not quiet right there, I know] Jesus came to earth to show us, through his ministry and teachings, how to live. He was betrayed by the human race, who cared more about their own selfish desires than what he was trying to teach. He threatened their self-righteous, self serving beliefs and they killed him for it. But in the end, he won, because three days after he was buried, he rose from the dead, whole, healthy and real.
When we choose to follow Jesus, we become his disciples, which is just a fancy word for student. Then we become apostles [although I think a lot of people forbid use of that word for people today… Not sure why, which probably means it’s some tradition started umpteen hundred years ago..*rant off*] apostle is just a fancy word for teaching student.
It’s like Jesus is a master violinist. People come to him wanting to learn his method of the violin. He teaches us, then he sends us out and we begin to teach others. We’re teaching others to play the master’s music in the master’s way. But what if he expects us to also become composers, too? Then we would still be creating music in his tradition, but adding our own flair and style to it.
Isn’t that what happened with all the writers of the Bible? I mean, they were inspired to tell the story by God, but they were allowed [even encouraged] to use their own words, their own style and personality. And that’s kind of what we’ve done with Christianity today, what with all our denominations and stuff. You’ve got Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Nazarenes [and a bunch of others I don’t know how to spell!] they’ve all got a different spin on the same story, don’t they?
But ultimately, we’re all pretty much the same at the core.
Ep. Five: Community. Here is something I have secretly thought in my heart of hearts for years, but was afraid to talk about because I just knew someone would think I was a heretic. God is not enough. Holy crapoly, Batman! Here comes the lightning! But really, He isn’t. I know we all [Christians, anyway] talk about God’s grace being sufficient and how we don’t need any one but God, and all that other gobbledygook that has crept into our language.
I think it got there partly because when you really find God, He changes your whole life. Turns it upside down sometimes. So it makes sense that, with that kind of overhaul, and that kind of natural high, you feel invincible.
And, unfortunately, it also crept into our collective belief system, because at the core, we all want to feel special, to feel like we’re better than other people. So when I look at someone who is grieving and floundering without their loved one, or another person who hangs out with a group of friends that isn’t good for them, but they can’t seem to get out of the situation, I can say to myself [and a lot of us say it to the person in trouble] “I have my God and He’s all I need. You just need to give it to God, and He’ll make you strong.”
The fact is, we need each other, too. God does give immeasurable strength to those who need it. But most times, he uses other people to give us that strength. Me and God against the world isn’t enough. I need friends to prop me up when I can’t stand on my own. If you’re alone, reach out to God, but also reach out to people. And if the first person you meet is a big fat jerk, reach out to some one else. It’s too important not to.
Oh yeah, Episode six is called Consummation. That’s when we die and go to be with Jesus. And that part, my friends, is truly just the beginning of the adventure!
Blog ya later!