Scripture tells us the story of God’s people, from the creation of the world and the Exodus to the life of Jesus and the ministry of Paul. That story didn’t end with the last page of scripture. This Lent season, we’re exploring what it means to be part of the ongoing story of God and God’s people in the world. By Easter, we hope you will see how your story fits in to this grand narrative.
February 21: Introduction
At the beginning of every story, we start to ask ourselves, “What kind of tale is this?” What kind of story have we entered and how do we begin to make sense of what is happening. Sometimes we ask the same question when it comes to our own life story.
February 28: Suspension of Disbelief
The second week looks at a common practice required of us in great stories: we have to believe the unbelievable. The story of Abraham and Sarah is so hard to believe that even they laughed. And yet, in the end, the story about the stars in the heavens as numerous as descendants comes true – we are those stars – we are a part of that unbelievable story.
March 7: Rising Action
Exodus 16, Numbers 11
In every good story, there is a rise in the action that causes some kind of tension. An example of this in scripture is the story of the Exodus. The people of God have made their play to escape, but once they do, they face the tension of wondering in the desert. As things get more and more challenging, they begin to question whether or not they should keep moving forward or go back.
March 14: The Inciting Incident
1 Samuel 16
An Inciting Incident is a moment in a story when everything changes and you can never go back. It is the moment a character in a story walks through a door and can never come back – it is when he or she actively engages in the narrative and claims their role in it. The story of David agreeing to be anointed as the boy king is one of these moments. Once he comes to the house from the field and is anointed, his story is forever changed – and so was ours.
March 21: Soundtrack
In every film there is a score to enhance each high and low and to weave prominent themes throughout the story. When it comes to God’s story, the soundtrack my not be musical, but it is the constant themes that recur throughout the story: Love, Justice, Peace, Salvation, Hope, and more. They weave through the story and tie it all together.
March 28 // PALM SUNDAY: Waiting for Resolution
There comes that point in any good story, where you are longing for Resolution, when you can’t take it anymore. The story is everything at this point; you are begging the author, the director, whoever is in charge, “Will you give me some Resolution? I can’t do this anymore.” Jesus was the culmination of what people had hoped for in a Savior, but he wasn’t quite what they expected, especially at the end. Creation held its breath, hoping for Resolution, and we know that Jesus’ death on the cross can’t be the end of the story. The Palm Sunday story is the first step toward the resolution of the God Story.
April 4 // EASTER SUNDAY: Twist Ending
In the final week of the series, we see that every great story has a Twist Ending, something that you didn’t see coming. Our story finds that the one we thought might be dead is indeed alive and standing with us, calling us to live out our role in God’s great story. They thought he was dead, but he is living.
Resources to Go Deeper this Lent:
The God Story: Daily Readings by Jacob Armstrong
This books of daily readings for lent is the basis for our Lent/Easter series this year. Great for individual or small group use. Purchase a copy from Amazon here.
The God Story: Small Group Discussion Guide
If you would like a copy of the discussion guide to use with your small group, email Rachel Freeny at [email protected].