apexanthologies

An Old, Old Story

The art of storytelling is sometimes thought to be reserved for masters of the craft, both old and new. We rely on Steven Spielberg for those highly anticipated summer blockbusters, and look to writers of the past such as J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis to meet our needs for allegory and fantasy. We love stories. But do we give all the credit for stories to the author of life itself? Do we recognize the part our own lives play in the greatest story ever told? 

In our society we don’t just read, watch, or listen to stories- we fully participate in them! We identify with the heroes, cry when they cry, rejoice when they rejoice, even feel a sense of accomplishment as they emerge victorious. There is so much beauty in so many stories told throughout history, because these stories are often echoes of the gospel. Mike Cosper, in his book The Stories We Tell, says it best- “At the heart of our faith is the bold claim that in a world full of stories, with a world’s worth of heroes, villains, comedies, tragedies, twists of fate, and surprise endings, there is really only one story. One grand narrative subsumes and encompasses all the other comings and goings of every creature—real or fictitious—on the earth. Theologians call it “redemption history”; my grandfather called it the “old, old story.”

apexanthologiesJesus Christ, a holy and all-powerful God, humbled himself as a man to bear the burden of sin which we could never escape on our own. With His life he personified grace and wisdom, with His death he granted our forever freedom, and with his resurrection He sits on the throne where we will one day lay our feet. Wow! This story will never get old.

When the gospel absolutely wrecks your life, turns it upside down in the most beautiful way possible, we find we have our own story to tell. All of our stories matter because all of our stories point to Jesus. In a sermon at Apex a couple weeks ago, Jason said something I love. We all have two volumes to our story- a before Christ and an after Christ volume. Some people’s first volume  is very small, they may have accepted Christ at a very young age, and their after Christ volume is a beautiful reflection of a redeemed life. Other’s tell the opposite tale, there is a heavy volume one filled with pain and suffering, while volume two was a crash-course in reclamation. Some of you, much like me, are still in the midst of writing your second volume, the sequel to our dramatic, twenty-plus year volume. I will say it again, all stories matter.

As the Editor-in-Chief for Anthologies, I have the privilege to read a wide variety of stories. I can tell you every single one is a blessing. To those of your worried your story may not be good enough, I want to say to you remember who your story points to- what God has done for you is powerful. To those who may be fearful of sharing your story, of bearing the shame which once held you captive, I want to say to you remember your story is not your own- God is the ultimate author and when you share your story, you share God’s story.

apexanthologiesPlease consider being a part of a story told through Anthologies. Use your story to claim your victory and Glorify your Redeemer. As you consider submitting your story here, I encourage you to read through the old hymn below.

 

 

 

 

I heard an old, old story,

How a Savior came from glory,

How He gave His life on Calvary

To save a wretch like me;

I heard about His groaning,

Of His precious blood’s atoning,

Then I repented of my sins

And won the victory.

O victory in Jesus,

My Savior, forever.

He sought me and bought me

With His redeeming blood;

He loved me ere I knew Him

And all my love is due Him,

He plunged me to victory,

Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about His healing,

Of His cleansing pow’r revealing.

How He made the lame to walk again

And caused the blind to see;

And then I cried, “Dear Jesus,

Come and heal my broken spirit,”

And somehow Jesus came and bro’t

To me the victory.

O victory in Jesus,

My Savior, forever.

He sought me and bought me

With His redeeming blood;

He loved me ere I knew Him

And all my love is due Him,

He plunged me to victory,

Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about a mansion

He has built for me in glory.

And I heard about the streets of gold

Beyond the crystal sea;

About the angels singing,

And the old redemption story,

And some sweet day I’ll sing up there

The song of victory.

 

Author- Elizabeth Van Dine