We Need a Better Story
My month-long journey through the first half of the Old Testament is coming to a close, and as I have been reflecting on my experience over the last few weeks (also known as studying for the final), I have once again been captured by the idea of identity.
When we began our class, we started off by reading Ezra and Nehemiah and highlighted how important the reestablishment of a Jewish identity was for the returning exiles. Policies were put in place in order to protect against the loss of the “Jewishness” of the the Jewish people. In Nehemiah 8 Ezra brings together all those who were returning from exile and reads from the book of the law, not because they need to know the law… but because they need to know their story.
In one of my textbooks for the class, John McLaughlin talks about the importance of Jewish children being raised by Jewish women… so that the children will know the story of their people.
As I read through the Old Testament with fresh eyes for this class, I read less about laws and sacrifices and saw more of a story of a people and their God… and as a result fell in love with the law.
Over the last week, I have been thinking a good bit about the stories that the American church is currently telling… and it is kind of depressing.
We tell stories of conflict, division, and controversy.
We share narratives of “religious persecution,” political policies, and church leaders engaged in theological warfare.
What we don’t share of stories of God’s provision, rescue, or transformation.
What we aren’t sharing is who we have become, and are becoming, in Christ.
And we wonder why the millennials are rejecting us.
Tell us YOUR story of God’s provision, rescue, and transformation.