living the STORY

Our ethics have to start with the Story. Not rules, but the Story.

What is the Story of God? What is our Story as a community? What are we trying to live in? This is where ethics needs to start. Not a list of the rules, but the Story. Instead of searching through Scripture for every reference to money, politics, sex, children, peace, violence, or justice, we have to read the whole Story, the arc of scripture, the history of God’s interaction in the world.

We realize that the story is holistic. That it is not just a story about our souls and Jesus, but a story that spans the past and present, the physical and the spiritual, brokenness and redemption.

And in this holistic Story we find ourselves trying to find our own place in the Story. Where are we in this story? How do we play our role in the Story well? How do we live our part?

We realize that it isn’t just about us as individuals but that we live out the Story together. That the church joins in the Story, not merely individuals.

And so everywhere small pockets of those following the way are trying to figure out what exactly the way looks like. And it takes…

discussion

hard questions

experimentation

and boldness

I care about my ethics, how I live and interact in the world, because of my conviction that the Story is true. Rules cannot convince me of much- just threaten me with punishment or judgment. But since I am convinced of the reality of the Story in the here-and-now, I am compelled to live out that reality.

The Story has drawn me in so much so that I want to keep playing my part.

So I may hate forgiving my neighbor, but I want to live out God’s Story of forgiveness.

And I may love spending money on myself but I want to live out God’s Story of generosity and provision.

And I may enjoy my place of privilege but I want to live God’s Story that the first shall be last and the last shall be first.

The vision of the Story, the promise in the Story, the hope that another world is possible and the kingdom of God is approaching draws me in. Draws us in.

It goes far beyond rules. Ethics is this long process of saturating ourselves with the Story from Scripture, then sitting in real community and asking…

how do we live that?

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