Ivan Illich, (the social philosopher, not to be confused with Tolstoy’s tragic figure), was asked one time about the best way to change the world:
“Neither revolution nor reformation can ultimately change a society, rather you must tell a new powerful tale, one so persuasive that it sweeps away the old myths and becomes the preferred story, one so inclusive that it gathers all the bits of our past and our present into a coherent whole, one that even shines some light into the future so that we can take the next step forward. If you want to change a society, then you have to tell an alternative story.”
Of course we know that the Kingdom is that fresh, alternative story waiting to be told. Jesus’ invitation to, “repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” was simply an offer to step into the adventure of His story.
The old, threadbare script about alienated humans trying to reach God through religion, sacrifice and ritual (blah, blah, blah), was shut down, canceled, and should have been run out of town for good by the dazzling news that God himself had taken on flesh, moved into the neighborhood, and embraced humanity right where it was. God’s new story was a comprehensive plan to redeem not only the human race, but to overhaul the whole of life and culture from gardens to garbage dumps, from prisons to palaces. Even nature itself waits for us to take our place in the action. (Romans 8:19)
I’m praying today that my soul will be saturated with the script, and that I will become a master storyteller of the Kingdom Tale.