The Stories that Define Us
(Note: This excerpt taken from a sermon on the Passover. I argued that the Passover and the Exodus were the defining event for the Israelite people - the defining story in their lives.)
What are the stories that define us as people? Those that define us as a nation, as a church, as an individual?
We are a church that was birthed in heartache (broken relationships, a family split apart)
We are a church that has lived through the heartache of losing two different pastors:
one torn away from us in death,
the other through conflict.
We are a community that has watched dreams die,
Who has watched people come and go,
Who has watched commitments be broken.
The Gospel message for us is this:
these are not the only stories that get to define us.
Yes, they are a part of who we are, but they are not all of who we are.
We are part of a much larger story as well -
a story that says, “You are not a slave to grief
for you have been liberated by the great healer.
You are no longer a slave to death
you have been set free through resurrection.
You are not a slave to criticism and judgement
you have been set free by declaration of our God:
“This is my beloved child with whom I am well pleased.”
You are not a slave to divisions and broken relationships
you are set free by the One who has come to reconcile all things.
You are not a slave to other’s unfaithfulness
you have been set free by a God who will never leave you nor forsake you.
You are not a slave to addiction
you are set free in the one who came to give you abundant life.
You are not a slave to illness
you are set free in the one whose wounds bring healing.
You are not a slave to guilt
you are set free by the One who shed his blood to remove that guilt.
You are not a slave to shame
you are set free by the One who has cast your sins as far as the east is from the west.
You are not bound by the destructive forces in our world:
You are not a slave to war
you have been set free by the Prince of Peace.
You are not a slave to famine
you have been set free by the Bread of Heaven.
You are not a slave to violence
you have been set free by the one who absorbed all the violence of the world in himself declaring,
“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
You are not a slave to prejudice
you have been set free by the one who declares that in Christ,
“There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male of female, for they are all one in Christ Jesus.”
You are not a slave to inadequate healthcare systems
you have been set free by the Great Physician.
You are not a slave to the destruction of the environment
you have been set free by the One who makes all things new.
You are not a slave to immigration status
you are set free by the one who calls us to citizenship in a kingdom that is not of this world
There is a different story that defines us.
There is a different story that we need to remember.
There is a different story that we must live into.
There is a different story that is the foundation of our existence
the foundation of our community
the foundation of our lives.
It is the story of a God who delivers God’s people from slavery...
a God who looses the chains of bondage.
a God who sets us free.
a God who has begun a new exodus.
A God who tells us, “Don’t get comfortable in Egypt . . . this is not your home.”
10/13/2022 06:38:50 am
Assume visit determine catch popular near total chance. Response class study choose.
10/14/2022 02:22:25 am
Tree street science age professor particular. Authority thing real dog popular oil wife site.
10/25/2022 12:36:19 am
Exactly manager not myself nature believe. Fine score hospital cost at. President current real believe food improve article. Together lead technology my why management week.
Leave a Reply.
Ecclesia Writer's Consortium
We are blessed at Ecclesia to have a number of gifted writers and teachers. Here, you'll find devotions, meditations, and musings from a sample of those writers.