Living Within God’s Narrative

This is the “Robert Webber Quote of the Week” sent by Dr. Kent Walters of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies:

I once understood the gospel as God asking me to let him into my narrative, to find room for him in my heart and life. But now I realize that God bids me to find my place in his narrative. In God’s story, he, with his own two hands—the incarnate Word and the Holy Spirit—recapitulated and reversed the human situation so I can now live in him. Through him I can live in the expectation of a restored world without the presence of evil. Here and now, because God became incarnate and recapitulated all things, I live in him, in his narrative, and he lives in my life, which is to be a witness to his narrative for the world. [Robert E. Webber, Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God’s Narrative. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008), 174-175.]

We often live in a posture of  “inwardness”, bringing into our allegedly safe and controlled lives the situations and relationships that will “fit”.  We guard ourselves and manage our worlds as closely as possible.  We live in fear of calamity, illness, joblessness – anything that might crack the wall of the  fortress we live within.  Even Christians sometimes live inwardly, seeing God as something to bring into the inner system as an extra measure of comfort and control.  This is not as it should be!

Christ calls us to live in a posture of “outwardness”.  Secure on inside because the Spirit of the Lord is there, we are able to turn outward and live into the larger work of God’s redemption – not just our personal redemption but the ongoing renewal of all creation that has begun with the rising again of Christ!

Fear causes one to shrink back and protect oneself.  Perfect love, scripture says, casts out fear.  We can open up and give of ourselves, knowing that Christ’s abundant life in us never runs out of grace to give.  Instead of becoming the people who are “saved”, we are able to become, by the divine life within us, a “saving” people.  We live in the story of God’s creation, redemption, and renewal of all that is around us.  Let’s live out that story with gusto!

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