We Have a Story

Below is my column for the September newsletter.

So often the words that move me most are the ones that articulate my own thoughts. That recently happened as I came across a quote from the book Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense by Francis Spufford (to be released October 15, 2013). He writes:

“We don’t say that God’s in His heaven and all’s well with the world; not deep down. We say: all is not well with the world, but at least God is here in it, with us. We don’t have an argument that solves the problem of the cruel world, but we have a story.”

We have a story, and the story and God’s presence are sufficient. I think that Christians like myself often spend too much time trying to explain things that cannot ultimately be explained to a skeptical world that isn’t really interested in our explanations. But a story is a powerful thing, and our story is the most powerful story ever.

Our story tells of a God who created all that is and called it good. A God who created humanity to mirror and reflect God’s love into the good creation. A God who remained faithful and loving even when we turned (and still turn) away in rebellion. A God who created a holy people for the redemption of the world and then became flesh and lived among us in Jesus Christ when the chosen people also turned away in rebellion. A God who accepted the suffering of the crucifixion in order to defeat evil and bring to a halt the ongoing cycle of humanity’s fall. A God who raised Jesus on the third day that humanity might rise again (both literally and figuratively). A God who has promised to be with us until the end of the age in the power of the Holy Spirit. A God who will set all things right in the age to come.

When I place myself within this story, I still don’t have a good explanation for evil. I still cannot explain it away, but for some reason my need for an explanation of evil is often almost completely subsumed by the story of what God is doing about it. I hope that you experience this same comfort. I hope that the Holy Spirit grants you this same peace that surpasses all understanding.