Friday, December 24, 2010

The Story, the whole Story and nothing but the Story

As I sit here, with my festival service sermon finished, I fret over the emphasis on sin and brokenness. Is it a buzzkill? Shouldn't it be all warm and fuzzy? But I fret over all gospel and no discussion of why it is gospel at all. Do we ignore the reality in which we live? If the current life isn't shown to be lacking in every area that God desires, why do we even need Jesus?

Last night as I sought to refine my sermon I read through Regin Prenter's Creation and Redemption. There I read, "The unity of God and man in the incarnation means that through the man Jesus Christ, in his human death and in the restoration of his human life through the resurrection, God completes the work which he began when he created man in his own image. There God's life-giving and life-sustaining mercy reaches its culmination. This is the only way in which the unity of God and man in the incarnation has any meaning."

And while glancing over at Living Lutheran, I found Pastor Erma Wolf's post on the very same topic... sort of. There she wrote:
While this last song didn’t sound at all like a Christmas carol to my non-Lutheran friends (“But it talks about death!” they objected), it fit perfectly with our children’s programs that began, always, with the story of Adam and Eve falling into sin.

To be Lutheran meant telling the Christmas story, the WHOLE story, from the very beginning. It meant, and still means, telling the real reason for the season: that God had to act to save us from our sins, and that, in the words of another unlikely Christmas song from the South, “I Wonder as I Wander,” that “Jesus the Savior did come for to die.”

And so I sang, then and now, these words:

I was in bondage, sin, death and darkness;
God’s love was working to make me free.
Jesus my Savior himself did offer,
Jesus my Savior paid all I owe.
Therefore I’ll say again, God loves me dearly,
God loves me dearly, loves even me.

Read her whole post here.

And thus I am reminded that we must tell the whole story of what God is up to and how we ever got here in the first place.

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