Based on a True Story: Act Two (Genesis 3)
Big Idea: Why the brokenness? It’s part of the brokenness of this world.
My life is broken because of the brokenness of the entire world.
Purpose: To understand our brokenness as part of the bigger picture of the brokenness of the world.
So what’s your problem?
- Everyone has one
- Your problem is important
- You come here hoping that we have something to offer
- You can’t even picture a perfect world.
A catastrophe has occurred. We are no longer in continuity with our good beginning. We have been separated from it by a disaster. We are also, of course, separated from our good end. We are, in other words, in the middle of a mess. (Eugene Peterson)
Why is your life broken? My thesis is that we tend to see our brokenness as our problem. We need to frame the problem a bit bigger.
ILLUSTRATION: Frodo from Lord of the Rings
Let me try to frame the problem from a bigger perspective, and then tell you how I think this affects the way we live and think.
Why is our life broken? Genesis 3 gives us Act Two of the six-part Story, which is the true Story of our world.
1. The world was in a state of shalom
Shalom = wholeness, completeness, fulfillment, well being
Harmony with God (Eden is the place where God lived)
Harmony with each other
Harmony with creation
2. Humanity faced temptation (1-5)
Essence of the temptation: to rebel against God (relationally).
3. Humanity rebelled against God (6)
We weren’t there but we were involved, just like our parents made decisions that have affected us.
4. We are now experiencing the effects (7-24)
What does it mean to die? They didn’t die instantly, but every part of creation died that day:
- Relationship with God (3:8,23)
- Fellow humans (blame and battle, v.12,16)
- Self (shame and hiding, v.7)
- World (v.16-19)
All spheres of life – marriage and family, work and worship, school and state, our play and art – bear the wounds of our rebellion. Sin is present everywhere – in pride of race, in arrogance of nations, in abuse of the weak and helpless, in disregard for water, air, and soil, in destruction of living creatures, in slavery, deceit, terror, and war, in worship of false gods, and frantic escape from reality. We have become victims of our own sin. (Contemporary Testimony)
5. The story isn’t over (21)
Is the story over? No! God clothes Adam and Eve. It’s only Act Two.
Why is your life broken? It’s part of the larger story of the brokenness of the whole world. Your life is broken because of the brokenness of the whole world.
If Frodo met Dr. Phil -“You need to get out of these situations!" What you’d tell Frodo if you looked at his situation is much different from what you would tell him if you looked at the larger story.
Contemporary preaching…uses biblical narrative to help people make their lives work. The biblical narrative thus becomes a how-to-tool to help people in their private, personal lives, a kind of chicken soup for the Christian life…To them, it is vividly clear that the public gathering of the people of God has a single, primary purpose: meeting the private, personal needs of each individual member…
The move to counter this…begins with cultivating an environment that invites people to address their experience and to reconnect with the memory of the biblical narrative in a way that grounds their lives in a story bigger than their private needs…For people to become something more than a collection of individuals crowding together for warmth, they must recover a common narrative that gives sense to the present and shapes their future. (Roxburgh and Romanuk, The Missional Leader)
Imagine you’re in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. You call in a contractor to fix your house. The contractor says,”Take a look around. It’s not just about fixing your house. The whole city is broken! Let’s talk about seeing your broken house as part of a broken city, and join in fixing not just your own little house, but in restoring the whole."
The purpose of your life is not to meet your own needs, but to join God in fixing the brokenness of the whole world – but for that we need to wait until Act Three.