In the marvelous land of story, nothing is more important than the inciting incident. The inciting incident is the essential point that evokes plot, the cause of ensuing chaos, and the key factor to understanding a story’s meaning.
The crucifixion of Jesus has had incredible staying power. It’s been a central symbol in the christian tradition for millennia. But what exactly does it mean? And, how is it relevant for us, today?
I love the Bible. Some of my earliest memories are of my mom reading me its stories. I can remember dear old saints teaching it to me on Sunday mornings. As I grew, I began to read it on my own. At one point, as an adolescent, I committed to a reading plan that took me through the Bible, cover to cover, three times a year. I did this for at least seven or eight years.
Sometimes one facet of life – personal, familial, professional, spiritual, political, etc. – feels out of control. When this happens, the world can feel pretty overwhelming. However, when every facet of life is in sync by being out of sync, the world can become nothing less than grim.
Since the Nashville Statement came out in August, much has been written in response. Some have hailed the statement as long overdue – a necessary anchor in the midst of changing mores. Some seem to agree with the statement but don’t like the clandestine process or the timing of its release. There are others, of course, who think that the statement is tone deaf to culture, violent against the LGBTQ community, and outright offensive.
We are often asked at the end of a day, “What did you do?” And so, we reflect, we fret a bit, and then we offer a list of details that comprise our day. However, consistently absent from this list is waking up. I wonder why? To wake up is truly extraordinary. I like how Whitman put it:
I have often heard Christians decry the present state of the church, while looking back to the “Good ‘ole days.” The thinking goes something like this, “If we could just return to the first century, and live like the early church, then things would be much better.” At one point in my life I would hear such sentiment and I blithely assumed that it was correct.
Preparing to launch this website, a few of my friends have asked, “Why now?” It’s a good question, really. I’m not technologically savvy. Nor am I particularly interested in being know beyond the community I’m a part of. Furthermore, I’ve been a minister since 1998 and have – for better or for worse – avoided social media. And so, why now?