There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6
Brackets, brackets and even more brackets. Like most of you, my productivity at work takes a severe hit during March Madness. Being a huge sports fan, this is my favorite time of year. But, as a writer, I’m instinctively drawn to this tournament for another reason.
Stories, stories and even more stories. With 64 schools dreaming of cutting down the nets, there are plenty of stories to go around. In the midst of the broadcast, we get to hear the backstory of players, coaches and universities:
An unrecruited walk-on earned a scholarship through hard work and dedication. Basketball served as an escape from a turbulent childhood. Persevering after the death of a parent. A small town community down on their luck rallying around their school. A player trying to live up to the legacy of their athletic legend of a father.
These profile pieces give us a glimpse into the player behind the uniform. They serve as a reminder that every person has a story. There are things a person is dealing with that sometimes can’t be seen. Life is a journey that takes us down countless paths. We encounter different circumstances. We deal with different struggles. We have unique scars and wounds.
Yet, for all of our unique stories, the same hope is offered to us all. It doesn’t matter if you are big or tall, black or white, rich or poor, the beauty of the Gospel is that everyone is welcome. However, our unique story influences the way we encounter and are drawn to the Gospel.
For someone who left a string of broken relationships and poor choices in their wake, they key in on Christ’s forgiveness. For someone who has been disappointed by others, they cling to God’s faithfulness. For an individual who had unspeakable things happen to them, they cherish that Christ makes them clean and has the power to redeem all things.
The same message, a different experience.
So, today, take a moment to reflect on your own story. What does the Gospel mean to you? How has an encounter with Christ’s love shaped your own story? When you find these answers and are able to articulate them it frees you to see your story as a part of God’s story.
- What aspect of the Gospel are you drawn to the most (forgiveness, reconciliation, hope, freedom, etc.)? Why does this aspect speak to you?
- Complete the following sentence: The Gospel means to me ________. What makes you answer in the way that you do?
God, thank you for Your faithfulness. No matter what I experienced or encountered, You have never left my side. You were there every step of the way. Help me to see how You were showing me part of Your heart in the midst of my story. Give me the courage to articulate the hope I have found in You. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.