So I’m on the plane from England to Romania and having a nice conversation with the young lady next to me. We’re on the econo flight via Wizz Air and it’s obvious I’m the only American on this flight.
We start to talk about our families.Â She tells me about her boyfriend. She been living with him. For six years.
“Wow, 6 years that’s a long time,” I say “why haven’t you gotten married?”
“Well, he doesn’t think it’s important’, she says.
“Hmmm ……… well, I guess it depends on which story you live out of .”
Then I tell her how my wife and have have been married for over 29 years. And according to the story we live out of, marriage is important. It’s a sign of total commitment, it’s a sacred vow, that’s why it’s called Holy Matrimony.
So when times get tough – and IÂ shared with her they certainly had – breaking up or divorce is not an option.
“Murder, maybe …. but not divorce” ( I borrowed that joke from Billy Graham’s wife, Ruth …)
Everybody Lives Out of Some Story
Whether they are aware of it or not, everybody makes decisions and choices based on their understanding of the world, their worldview. It’s the narrative or the story that shapes what you do and why. It guides how you live.
â€œAll human communities live out of some story that provides a context for understanding the meaning of history and gives shape and direction to their lives.”
“Which story we live out of makes a huge difference in how one interprets events in lifeâ€â€
Â The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story p12; Craig Bartholomew, Michael Goheen
The lenses through which we see the world leads to hope or despair, to have an optimistic or pessimistic view of our identity and destiny.
The Bible as Meta-Narrative
The historical Christian faith is grounded in the belief that the Bible is a reliable meta-narrative. Meta meaning â€œaboveâ€ (or grand, beyond, or all-encompassing) and narrative meaning â€œstoryâ€. Wikipedia defines meta-narrative as ” a global or totalizing cultural narrative schema which orders and explains knowledge and experience”.
Christians believe the bible reveals ‘transcendent and universal truth’ and explains the tale of human existence. It frames and orients the Christianâ€™s life both individually and communally. The Drama of Scripture upholds:
â€œthe whole point of a basic story or grand narrative is to make sense of life as a whole.â€
Start Making Sense.
Reminds me of that Talking Heads movie, Stop Making Sense, but I digress … that has nothing to do with this post ….
A biblical worldview is the natural outcome and the point of differentiation for a faith constructed upon the biblical story.
This is the premise of Robert Webber in Ancient-Future Faith: Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World
â€œEvangelicals take the universal character of the Christian metanarrative as an essential aspect of the framework of Christian faithâ€ .
The embracing of the bible as metanarrative has important implications.
1. One is that the assertions and principles of the bible are seen as normative â€“ that is, they define the starting points or â€œsquare oneâ€ of what is true.
2. Secondly the bible story is regarded as comprehensive â€“ it explains life as a whole.
â€œOrthodox Christianity has always maintained that Scripture is the norm for faith and life, the great rule and source of guidanceâ€ (Webber)
When Christians gather to worship it is to remember our individual stories are part of a much larger story.
It is to encourage one another to live from the meaning of that story.
We are to pass it on what has been handed down to us, from generation to generation.
Â God invites us to join His Story. And when we do, we make – history. So, what’s your story?