We believe in a story that has a clear beginning and ending. It is a story whose author is the chief character. It is the story of the true and living God who created a people and a space for those people to dwell and walk in fellowship with Him. It is a story of our rebellion against God’s loving care which led us to our estrangement from God and from one another. It is a story of God not giving up on creation, but graciously initiating a rescue plan for humanity living in exile. It is the story of promises made first to a man named Abraham that all the peoples of the earth would be blessed through his descendants. Out of this man the nation of Israel is born to be a light to the world. God rescues this nation from their slavery in a foreign land and gives them a land of their own as well as a law to govern their lives. As the story continues, however, we see the same rebellion that has always plagued humanity beginning to manifest itself in this chosen group of people. Abraham’s descendants end up once again as slaves in foreign land, a living metaphor for the destination of all humanity.
But this is where the story that we believe takes a dramatic turn. As Abraham’s descendants suffer in exile, a group of prophets begin to speak of a time when God will fulfill the promises of blessing to the people of God and give them a new heart. The prophets speak of a messiah to come, who will usher in the kingdom of God and restore the people back to prominence. This messiah would be fully realized in Jesus of Nazareth, but the story would not play out in ways that the people expected. Instead of restoring the people through military might, the messiah willingly and sacrificially dies a criminal’s death on a Roman cross for our sins, revealing the great lengths that God will go in order to rescue His people. But much to the surprise of Abraham’s descendants, the death of Jesus was not just for them, but for the sake of the whole world. The story finds its climax in the resurrection of Jesus and his ascension to God’s right hand, a vindication and declaration that the true king of the world is now on the throne.
As people who believe in this story, we find freedom from our exile by becoming part of the story ourselves through our allegiance to the king. Through baptism we become part of the family of God who offers us forgiveness of sins and His very Spirit to dwell in us helping us to live the way we are intended to live as witnesses to the Lord Jesus Christ. As believers in this story, we share in the weekly Lord’s supper proclaiming the power of the Lord’s saving death while anticipating a day when the king will return to judge the living and the dead; a day when God will make all things new and be fully present with His people forever. All of this story is summed up in John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
We invite you to come and be a part of God’s story here at Brentwood Oaks.