Posted by Veronica Wilson
One of my favorite qualities of God is that he is a master storyteller. It is in his storytelling that I begin to understand how big his love is. It is also in his storytelling that I begin to believe he desires to be known. As I have grown in my appreciation for this quality, I have experienced a different power in our own stories. When we examine and tell our stories, we can do so in a way that gives credit to the storyteller.
Oftentimes Jesus had encounters with people or performed miracles at a particular time so that others would believe. Jesus, fully divine, created the stories that would spread throughout communities, well beyond the initial interaction. I think of the Samaritan woman at the well. After Jesus revealed himself to her as the long-awaited Messiah, she was quick to share the story of her encounter with others. Jesus chose to extend his stay in Samaria and her entire community experienced the blessing of knowing the Messiah as a result.
So it is with our stories. Jesus, who has not made us better versions of ourselves but new versions of ourselves, has brought reconciliation so that we might tell the stories of our encounters with him to our own communities. This is the work of reconciliation.
What response can we have to being reconciled – to being brought from death to life – but to cling to the source of that life? When we choose to cling to the source of life, we choose a story of grace and abundance. When we choose to tell our stories of renewal, we point back to the master storyteller.
In a way that only God can understand or orchestrate, he renews us individually while simultaneously renewing us corporately. And this process of renewal is the greatest story, a story of love so powerful that we can’t help but to respond in complete devotion to its source.
I recently received a health update of an elderly relative. Experiencing chronic illness, his doctors decided he was in need of two knee replacements. The first knee replacement surgery was a complete success. He healed quickly and became more active than he had been in years. As a result, many of the other symptoms he had experienced, including significant strain on his other knee, diminished. He no longer needed the second knee replacement.
I think this is how healing works for us as the body of Christ, as well. We become aware of acute brokenness that needs immediate attention. Seeking God’s healing, he guides us into a deeper understanding of who he is and who we are as his children. My relative’s doctors were concerned about the knee, yes, but only insofar as it was a gateway to greater overall health.
As a church, God has made us aware of a need to seek racial reconciliation. In doing so, we trust God will bring us to a place of healing that is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit, through humbling ourselves before God, and through choosing to obey Jesus’ teaching. When we come before God and confess that we cannot fix ourselves on our own; when we confess that have stopped longing for kingdom living; when we confess we have found contentment in the blessings rather than in the giver, then we arrive at a place that we desire the story God has for us.
Let us journey together in that magnificent story.
If you’d like to explore more about racial reconciliation, check out this resource list, compiled by several FF members.