Have you ever watched a movie and half way through you forget what the plot is? Somehow in all the action, drama and character development you don’t remember what the whole story was even about or where its going? With all the preachers we download, church shifts like the reformation, liberalism, revivalism, the mega church movement, the missionary movement, the religious right and books written to argue for or against a certain Christian perspective I think we somehow have lost the plot along the way.
Or have you ever started watching a movie in the middle and found yourself straining to remember key scenes in the beginning. I have a feeling this has happened in the American church, as over the years we’ve been talking about God and the christian life by starting at the halfway point of the story. Our desire to present the gospel in nutshells has caused us to exclusively highlight certain parts either to make it easier to communicate or to make sure people get the right points. Because of all this I believe there is a growing awareness that the epic heart of the story is eluding us.
Here’s the bigger than big problem, the plot is what you hang everything on. It’s the story that compels everything, it brings order and understanding to every event and statement. If you get the story a little off track, derailed or obsessed with one scene, nothing seems to fit naturally. Somehow stories have been relegated to something we tell children. But it’s the story and the grand narrative that is supposed to capture our hearts, help us make sense of what is happening down here, compel us to live always connected and give us something to beckon people to.
I know many church goers young and old that at some point lost or never heard what story God is writing and how our lives actively play a role in it. I have a strong suspicion that this loss of the plot and not “feeling” connection to anything much larger than obedience, repentance, personal holiness or church attendance has greatly contributed to our loss of internal passion, hope for the world, faith to risk, unselfish love and our identity in God’s blueprint.
Our Story of God needs to be re-framed, recast, re-centered, re-preached, and any other re I can think of. When the story is not dominate we have nothing to tether our everyday lives to.