Our God of the Jews
My friend Mike posts:
  • i am reading, "How the Jews saved civilization" have you ever read that? it is by thomas cahil. he talks about until the jews came along, people thought of the story of history as an endless cycle of repeating events...the jews changed this by telling people that we are all apart of the same story that has one big climactic ending...hear o israel that the Ll-rd your G-d is one!

I haven't read it, but it does sound cool. I think that is something we fail to understand in the biblical narrative. God always comes into the scene and does something new. He changed the world by declaring that there is one God who is not confined to a geographic space or to some event like rain. He comes on scene again and says "I am like you" by becoming human and then goes about creating an alternative community that is not confined to a geographic space or an organization. Each time, God introduces freedom into the world. He keeps reminded us that we don't have to live life the way everyone else does. We don't have to repeat our sin, repeat our meaningless existence. We can indeed recreate Eden.


Story is not just important. It is also powerful. Story is such a powerful force in our lives. What is the story that our lives are telling? What are the images and words that define our wanderings. We are all poets and at the same time poetry. We are all storytellers and at the same time the stories themselves.
My friend Mike is in a new place, with a very different story. The Church is supposed to be the community that represents God's story. Yet in a foreign culture without much of a church, how will that new place hear and see the story of God. What whispers will my friend Mike be able to bring? What echoes of the voice of God will be able to resound off of him?
As I write this, I think of how much the American church, with all of its riches and resources, has found itself in a new place with a very different story. Can the church in North America even find a way to whisper, or have we lost our voice. Indeed, where are our prophets?


The Last Samurai is such a great movie. I was rewatching it last night and today. It has many truths in it-- many of them double sided coins. We choose what our life will become, yet our life often chooses what we are. What does it mean to have honor? What does it mean to fight with honor? I thought hard about Jesus's words about nonviolence and peace. Then I thought of all of the battles fought in the Old Testament. Could there be a honorable way to fight? I think just as there is a way to be a nice person without being a peace-making person, so also is fighting and war. We can be "nobles" fighting or we can fight noblely. Indeed, the Lord is a Warrior and He is mighty in battle-- the LORD of Hosts HE IS. This is a story that whispers the ways of another life- a way of life that is more balanced and liveable.


Stories are very important in the lives of individuals and cultures. A story is a scenario interrelating the individual, the world, and God. Our intent is to enact this story- to live so as to make the story a reality. A culture is then created as a group of people enact the story. This story gives meaning to the world, in tells us about God's divine intentions in the world, and tells us about human destiny.