“As for God I can only tell you my story, you will decide for yourself what to believe.” — Pi Patel, Life of Pi
Before anything else, there was just one amazing Being . . . timeless, with immeas-urable power and unimaginable beauty. This Being was pure love.
This Being created everything. With the power of words the universe was made. Galaxies were formed, atoms assembled. The climax of this creation was humans. The Being loved humans and wanted them to love and live forever.
Tragically, they chose instead to consider the mysteries of good and evil. They weren’t made to explore evil. It destroyed them. It brought sickness and death. It damaged their relationships with one another and the great Being. When the humans made this choice, their paradise was transformed into the earth we now know. Violence, hatred, and every kind of brokenness became commonplace.
The great Being enacted a plan to rescue them and restore the broken relationship. Humans were made with the ability to choose whether or not to love. So the plan was to show them love and care so they would know the Being was the most loving of all. If they believed this, they would love the Being and one another. For thousands of years the Being spoke to individuals, and they would tell others about the Being.
Then about two thousand years ago, the Being communicated love in the greatest way possible:
The Being became a human.
He seemed to be a normal kid from a poor family in a small town. But as an adult He showed everyone who He truly was. He healed people and even raised some from the dead. He fed hungry people and comforted hurting people. He was friends with the friendless, with people cast out by society because of their problems or lifestyles. And He told stories — lots of stories.
His stories were about a new way of life. A way of life in which people walked away from evil and walked in love instead. A way of life that was full and beautiful and good. A way of life that lasted forever. The way of life that the great Being had in mind all along.
Some in power didn’t like these stories. They conspired against Him and had Him executed. But this was part of His plan. What looked like defeat was actually a victory over evil. Three days later, He rose from the dead in an eternal body. He told His followers to tell His story to the world.
This is the story they told. . . .
God came as a human named Jesus. He overcame evil and restored His relationship with humanity by dying and rising again. When He died, He took away the shame, death, punishment, and evil that humans had chosen. Now all that remains is for people to respond by restoring their relationship with Him. This begins when they believe that Jesus is who He claims to be and that He did what He claimed to do. When they believe, His unseen presence lives inside them and gives them a new life. They begin to experience true joy, peace, and the power to truly love instead of being evil. They are no longer condemned to die forever, but instead they will come to life after death and live forever with Him in a new paradise where nothing evil can ever happen again.
What do you think of this story?
To many this sounds like a fairy tale. It is strange and sometimes confusing. There’s mystery in it, and it doesn’t often fit in the boxes we create.
But we believe it is true.
We see how our stories make sense only within this bigger story. We look around and see a world broken by unloving behavior. But we also see a God who is at work to change people’s lives and make them more loving. We look inside and see how we are broken and how Jesus is bringing life and healing to us as we find our place in His story.
What about you? Can you see how you fit in this bigger story? Do you want to learn more about how to find your place in it? If so, get in touch with those who already have. We are called Christians. You can find us gathering together every week in church buildings. You’re invited to join us and find your place with us in God’s story.
Find us at www.cog7.org.