Chapters 22 & Outro
One Key Quote
“Our job is therefore simple: To live in the story. To live out the story. To enjoy relationship with the author. And to partner with his purpose to make all things new.”p.328
Chapter 22: Grieving with Hope. Begins with a reflection on funerals and the death of his father in law, Nick. He writes of finding joy and hope in the middle of grief and sorrow. And because Nick had been shaped by the story of Scripture, walked with God, and lived with hope, PH shares the words he spoke at his funeral. He shares how Nick lived in and lived out the gospel story, the story of Eden lost and restored, of Jesus becoming man on a mission to restore our brokenness, of the cross and resurrection, of our future hope. He then challenges us to think about what message our life communicates. If we want it to speak of the gospel and point people to Jesus, then we must immerse ourselves in the story of God and join his mission of re-creation, of making all things new.
Outro: Personal Reflection – The Story We Live Out. PH writes on how, in their journey as a church, he has often said ‘we don’t have a map, we have a guide.’ This produces a ‘heads-up spirituality’. One of the first promptings they got from God was to prioritise the Scriptures, to help people immerse themselves in God’s story so they wouldn’t drown in the surrounding stories of our culture. Indwelling the story of Jesus draws us closer to Jesus and makes us want to be involved in the completion of the story, seeing ourselves as agents of renewal in every sector of society as we are involved in the mission to make all things new. He believes our society is at a crucial cultural moment and is looking for a better story. God’s story is what they are longing for. He reviews his book’s three layers – the big story from creation, to de-creation, and then re-creation; the second layer of the story of Jesus’s incarnation, death and resurrection; and the third layer of our discipleship and involvement in God’s mission, so that we push the story to its completion. We need to tell this story, live in this story, and live out this story.
Reflect and Discuss
- Can you relate to his experience of finding joy and hope even in the middle of grief and sorrow?
- How does the testimony of Nick’s life make you feel? How can we live in such a way that our lives communicate the gospel and point to Jesus?
- What are some of the surrounding stories of our culture that it is possible to drown in?
- What are some of the key things that we should do to make sure that we are living in the story of God and living out the story of God?
- Spend some time thinking about what you would want to be said of you at your funeral!
- Make a list of three key things that you are going to do to make sure you are living in this story of God and three things that you are going to do to make sure that you are living out this story.
You have finished the book and these studies! Watch out for the next book we are going to study together in the LifeWords book club.
There is a PDF version of this study here.