The Story of God
The world organizes itself around the story of unresolved human conflict, power struggles, greed and violence. The church organizes itself around the story of God, who comes to dwell with us, beginning as a defenseless baby, declaring peace and amnesty; being crucified, raised from the dead, and available and accessible to the church as the Living One. The distinction between the stories is the question of whether sin and death hold the last word or whether God does. Being grasped by one story necessarily requires being in tension with the other.
Today the world's story tells our teenagers that their value comes from looks, the "right clothes," sex appeal, popularity, and accomplishments. The church's story tells them they are inherently valuable just as they are. The world's story tells us to take control of our lives and eliminate uncertainty. The church's story calls us to trust in the God who raised Jesus from the dead, and to accept that living in ambiguity is not only healthy—it is also unavoidable! The world's story tells us that personal failure is greatly to be feared. The church's story lifts up Jesus Christ crucified as the one rejected by all. The world tells us that we have only limited resources. The church's story, declaring that the is enough for all, calls us to reorder our lives so that others might live.
The church's story will always be in tension with the world's.