Renting the VineyardSeries: The Gospel of Mark
The Story’s About You
Ever hear someone tell a story and you get the sneaking suspicion that it’s about you? When I was a senior in high school, our soccer coach got up at the awards banquet to give out the Defensive MVP of the year award. He started out by telling a story, and as he told it I kept getting the feeling it sounded familiar. It was an embarrassing story…and it was about me. In the spring of the previous year, some of my classmates and soccer coach had gone on a days long hike together and had stopped to eat some dinner. A classmate had tossed a can of baked beans in the fire to warm them up…then walked away. Now, if you know anything about heating up things quickly while they’re still in a can, you know what probably happened next. I walked up with my hot dog, minding my business and cooking my dinner when, BOOM! The can of baked beans exploded in front of me sending a can of Bush’s Best all over my face. I got the MVP award…and coach got a good laugh from the crowd retelling the story.
In our sermon this morning, Jesus tells a story that’s really about the religious leaders…and they’re probably standing right there while he tells it. It’s not a complimentary story—the religious leaders are not painted in a very good light. They had been continually ignoring what God was trying to tell them over years and years, and Jesus told the story to prophesy about his own death as the last message God would send them. They had rejected him.
There’s another story that God tells, but this is a good one. There are lots of characters and they are all flawed. However, there is a main character who loves them despite their flaws, and throughout the story he is continually pursuing them, trying to help them. Even when they don’t want him or they reject his interest, he still is there trying to tell them how to be better, to help them. Ultimately, the main character sacrifices himself so they can be better. The story is the Bible, and the characters are you and I. While we aren’t named in the book, the Bible is ultimately the story of us. We can find ourselves in Abraham and Sarah, Moses, David, Ruth, Esther, Peter, and Paul. We relate to them because we ARE them…not literally, of course, but figuratively. The story of the Bible is the story of God’s people—flawed, yet deeply loved. I hope you see yourself in the story and I hope you know the story. Because, the story’s about you.