If you spent anytime investing time in the lives of other people, it's hard to miss that people's individual stories-- whether filled with pain or great joy-- in the end point to the goodness of the God who ultimately created their story.
Over the last 13 years at Belay and Bud's Warehouse, I've enjoyed immersing myself in the stories of people rebuilding lives from addiction, homelessness and prison. I started this blog a number of years ago as an outlet to share some of the wonderful things that I have experienced over the years.
And every year, I especially enjoy the stories that bubble up during our community times as we celebrate Good Friday and Easter. Something tremendous happens as the individual stories of our lives interacts with history's most important story: Christ's life, death and resurrection.
This Good Friday morning we started with the simple question, "What was the best gift you ever got?" followed by the question, "What was the hardest thing you ever lost?" People around the table shared about receiving the gift of sobriety, being surprised with a guitar for a present, and getting a puppy. They talked about losing their father, the death of their sister, leaving all their stuff behind because of a sudden move, and the death of that same puppy.
We then read through parts of the Gospel of Matthew spanning Christ's birth, life, teachings and death, repeatedly asking the question, "What is the good news in this story?"
Then we simply remembered Christ's death by breaking bread and drinking some grape juice together.
We looked forward to a resurrection on Sunday... remembering Jesus' return from the dead 2000 years ago, which transformed a bumbling group of followers into fearless spokesmen for him who were later killed because they couldn't stop talking about how Jesus had come back to life.
And we discussed how each of us experiences resurrection daily in our lives as we follow Jesus' teachings, ultimately culminating in our own physical resurrection from the grave.
We celebrate in the words of Paul, "Death has been swallowed up in victory...Thanks be to God ! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:54, 57, NIV)
Stay tuned over the next few months as I intentionally focus on individual stories interacting with the bigger story of Jesus. It's the best part of my job and the true joy of working in a faith venture business as mission.