Can I tell you what I did during my summer vacation? Our family went to Disney World and our favorite park was EPCOT. We rode Spaceship Earth at least four times. The line wasnt very long, the boys thought it was fun, it wasnt scary, and most of all it was air conditioned.
You begin the ride by boarding a time machine which takes you through the history of human communication. It begins with cave paintings and the communications of cave men so that they can be more efficient while hunting. Then the Egyptians invent writing. The Phoenicians and Greeks work on universal alphabets. Monasteries copy writings. The printing press makes books available. Technology develops to make communication more immediate and then of course we end with computers. On the way down, the riders get to use communication to write their future. This is what my kids liked. They got to make goofy faces that are put into a cartoon.
About the fourth time through I began to grasp what it was all about ... This narrative about communication was itself a narrative. More than that, it was a meta-narrative. A meta-narrative is simply the one big story that makes sense of everything. As a narrative, it told stories in a creative way.
But if it was going to be a META-narrative (the one big story), then something was missing ... heres what I thought was missing ...
The gospel and the communication of it in Jesus Christ is a critical moment in human existence. The word becoming flesh has implications for past, present, and future.
What I like about the Epcot ride is that it emphasizes the importance of communication. Communication is important consider our words communion, community, commune. These all are related to communication. Communication is critical to forming community.
Communication and words are important to God also. God is a communicating God. He speaks, he writes, he reveals. But finally he communicates in a most extraordinary way through Jesus Christ.
Greek lesson: The meaning of logos ("Word" in John 1) is a concept, an idea, a logic. It is a message that is communicated. Not limited to saying and speaking. When God wants to communicate the one big story that makes sense of past, present, and future, he doesnt just speak, rather he sends ...
The alphabet that God used to send the one big story of the gospel was flesh and blood.
The syntax that God used to construct the one big story of the gospel was bone and sinew.
The grammar that God used to tell the one big story of the gospel was the breath and spirit of Jesus Christ.
The one big story of the gospel was not limited to a voice, a note, or a signal. It was told in the flesh. The man was the message ...
The message is preached and practiced.
The message is broadcast and embodied.
This is what our baptism was about. We are conformed to the likeness of Christ. May God send us from here as an embodiment of the one big message.
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