People LOVE stories! Did you know that ONE BIG STORY was conceived in the mind of God before the creation of the world? The greatest and most amazing chapter of this ONE BIG STORY comes from the Christmas story that culminates in Easter.
The Christmas story starts with two distinct angelic visitations and incredulous annunciations. FIRST, a very old couple, well advanced in years, is told that they will get pregnant. Miraculous signs and wondrous stories circulate around the birth of this first boy.
SECOND, a young virgin girl is told that she will conceive a child through the Holy Spirit. Anonymity and obscurity shroud the birth of this second boy. But then, some wise men from the East come, asking to meet a new-born King. Soon, a massacre is decreed and brutally carried out, killing all the children under two in a remote village, where the second boy was born earlier. This boy narrowly escapes the massacre and becomes an international fugitive and refugee. He grows up in obscurity at the outer edge of the then-ruling empire. What a painful and austere beginning.
However, this beginning turns out to be the culmination of all the hopes and dreams of centuries gone by. The events and circumstances surrounding the birth of this second boy had been meticulously prophesied throughout history, and, when the fullness of time came, all these prophecies were being fulfilled in detail, step by step. What had been conceived long ago was now pulsating in history with birth pangs.
The story skips to some thirty years later, and now the convergence happens. The first boy appears on the scene as a wild man of a prophet, John the Baptizer, and introduces the second boy, Jesus the Messiah, to the world. This Jesus reveals the glory of God in everything that he says and does. Love, grace, holiness, forgiveness, and light; life full of koinonia and shalom; wisdom and power demonstrated through his teaching, healing, casting out demons, and even raising the dead. But the story’s plot takes a shocking turn of events, and Jesus meets a violent and shameful death.
A completely unexpected ending to a story that was full of hope and expectations. But wait! This is not the end.
What seems to be an untimely and unfortunate ending ushers in the most amazing new story, a new beginning. And it turns out that the events and circumstances surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus had also been meticulously prophesied throughout history, and, when the fullness of time came, all these prophecies were being fulfilled in detail, step by step.
The Continuing Story…
The followers of Jesus, having joined this ONE BIG STORY, are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses, story-tellers, life-givers, and grace-dispensers to people wherever God places them. We are all participants/actors in this ONE BIG STORY. Each of us plays a different part and a unique role in this big play.
When we are “prompted” by the Director and follow the script carefully and obediently, we experience beauty, understanding, freedom, life, convergence, and breakthrough. God sets us free, bringing healing and reconciliation, restoring shalom and confidence. This is where we discover/discern the Master Storyteller orchestrating/weaving/directing His Story into our life stories. And this process brings about a deep and powerful sense of joy and transformation.