An actor prepping for a new role opens her script to search for backstory. A solid backstory brings a character to life. It chronicles triumphs and struggles. It focuses on moments when a person’s virtues and flaws come into focus.
You don’t know someone until you know his or her backstory. Not really.
So, what is your backstory? Be brutally honest. What events have defined the path of your life? What moments have shaped you?
Now, go a step further: How do you feel about your personal history? Is it triumphant? Sad? Does it inspire you? Can you lean on your backstory when life gets tough?
As we think about these questions, our faith is working to stitch our personal histories into God’s great epic. You are the next chapter in a saga that goes way, way, way back. In other words, your backstory begins with the first book of the Bible: Genesis.
In the modern world, we are not entirely sure what to make of Genesis. Some believers defend the historicity of figures like Adam and Eve: “The men and women of Genesis are as real as you and I.” Others scoff. In the Bible’s first book, they see only primitive myths and bad science.
Both sides miss the point. Genesis is not straight-up journalism. It isn’t bad science, either.
Genesis is sacred backstory.
Genesis wrestles with humankind’s most basic questions: Who is God? Where did the world come from? What sort of responsibility do we have for the planet? For each other? What is work? Why does hatred and violence come so easy for us? What is the nature of forgiveness?
Genesis does something else, too. Gently, but persistently, it asks: “Got backstory? Do you have a story that will comfort you, inspire you, sustain you for the living of these days?
FAPC’s Fall Sermon Series is titled Backstory: Finding Life & Hope in Genesis. It begins Homecoming Sunday–September 11th at 11:00 AM. I hope you will come to church in the expectation that Scripture’s starting point can mark a new beginning for you!
See you in worship,