“The voices of the vast majority of Christians throughout history have had no hearing outside their immediate and very limited sphere. Their theological contributions are out of sight, out of mind, difficult if not impossible to recover, except as they have affected the spiritual lives of those people close to them, perhaps their children and their children’s children through oral tradition.”
~How to Think Theologically, Stone & Duke~
One of the ongoing assignments in our Intro to God’s word class is something the professor calls Living the Story. We were to take up a practice to continue throughout the semester in which we participate in the mission of God. One of the books we’re currently reading for the class is Brad Kelle’s Telling the Old Testament Story: God’s Mission and God’s People. One of the homework assignments for this week is to describe God’s mission in my own words. For right now, I’m just looking at his:
“As we’ll see, God’s mission is to restore the originally-intended right-relationships and blessing by becoming a covenant partner engaged in a relationship with all living beings that will overcome human evil and heal creation.”
A previous paragraph says this:
“The first eleven chapters move from creation to Abraham, the one from whom Israel’s story will emerge. Most importantly for telling the larger OT story, however, these opening chapters move toward the introduction of God’s mission by first showing the initial picture of God’s intentions for creation–a creation made perfect as an ideal existence marked by the right-relationships of mutual blessing among God, humans, and the world. We then see the distortion of this divinely intended good reality by human misdeeds that lead to the introduction of God’s mission to heal and restore creation.
I am drawn to words that talk about healing. More than any other word I can presently think of, the concept of healing seems to finally, forever, and once and for all finally address what what my problem is, what my absolute greatest human need of all time is.
By why? Why this word?
Why is this word so much easier to hear than words like sin and rebellion? Why do I want healing from God so much more than I seem to want the forgiveness of God?
When I was looking into more about the above book’s author, I saw that he (Brad Kelle) has written another more recent book called The Bible and Moral Injury: Reading Scripture Alongside War’s Unseen Wounds. So then I looked up the term “moral injury”:
(Don’t ask me why it helps to write this all out)
“Moral injury is the damage done to one’s conscience or moral compass when that person perpetrates, witnesses, or fails to prevent acts that transgress one’s own moral beliefs, values, or ethical codes of conduct.” (https://moralinjuryproject.syr.edu/)
Wikipedia says this:
“Moral injury refers to an injury to an individual’s moral conscience and values resulting from an act of perceived moral transgression, which produces profound emotional guilt and shame, and in some cases a profound sense of betrayal and anger.
And also this:
“The concept of moral injury emphasizes the psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual aspects of trauma. Distinct from psychopathology, moral injury is a normal human response to an abnormal traumatic event.”
When mankind sinned, they were fatally wounded.
When we transgress the law of God, it is we who are broken.
This is why words about healing resonate with me so much.
He sees my injuries. He sees my wounds.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed, Isaiah 53:5
For our Living the Story assignment, I chose the seemingly doable and knowingly enjoyable practice of writing letters to whoever God puts on my heart for that week. God gives us voices to speak of our Savior, help us connect with others, and hopefully serve to build up the church and humanity even in some small healing way. God speaks to us through words and uses words to communicate his story and his love for us.
Faith comes through hearing the word.
Words are the agents of love and change.