Story in Four Words

The Story in Four Words

If I were to describe the Story in a handful of words; if I were to reduce it down to something that could be summed up on a sign in my front yard, these are the words I would choose: Jesus. Beauty. Mystery. Grace.

Jesus: Because He is the first and the last, the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. The author and perfecter, the root and the offspring of David, the bright and morning star. He is unending. Limitless. The beginning and the end. Without Him, there is nothing else. With Him, we cannot even begin to fathom the possibilities of who we can become.

Beauty: Because everything we see in the natural realm sings of the beauty of the unseen realm. As evidenced by the first sign (See Part 1), some present the Story as cold and sterile, black and white. When, in reality, the Story is full of life and color. And the most beautiful thing of all is the fact that I cannot even begin to describe its beauty on paper; it is something that must be experienced, something that cannot quite be put to words. The Story confuses us, while at the same time beckoning us, and that is why it is so beautiful.

Mystery: Because no matter how much we study and formulate and strive to find those perfect words, the Story is not something we can ever fully understand or put to words. Just think, if the signs were displayed in the same way that Jesus entered our world, they would not be right out in front of the house, or even remotely visible from the highway; they would be out back, in a barn somewhere, buried beneath the hay.

Grace: Because entering and becoming caught up in the Story comes without any cost on our part. It was costly, yes, but the Son of Man took the full price upon Himself so that we could get it for free. The Story does not require us to get dressed up and pretend we are someone that we are not. Nor does it require us to spend hours in the library, cramming, in hopes of passing the entrance exam. Participation in the Story cannot be purchased or earned; it can only be received.

Vastness of The Story

The Vastness of The Story

I’m spending the weekend visiting family in Rural Missouri. On the way into town today, I saw two signs in two separate front yards along the highway. Both displayed phrases from Scripture. Both were what one would call “evangelistic.” But to me, these signs were little more than an attempt to cram a complex message onto a small, white sign.

The first sign read, “Repent, ye therefore, and believe the Gospel.”

And the second, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the knowledge of God!”

That’s quite a stark contrast, especially considering both signs are intended to be a means to the same end. However, the second sign makes me want to love Jesus a whole lot more than the first.

Why does the second sign carry a certain lure that the first sign lacks? Besides the fact that it doesn’t point a judgmental finger in your face, the second sign hints at the reality that there is so much more; it alludes to the fact that this is something we must give our lives to discover; it tells us that the Story is far too vast to fit onto a sign along the highway.