An epic story, according to Merriam Webster, is one that “extends beyond the usual or ordinary in size or scope.” In movies, an epic story almost always spans multiple countries, cultures and people, and lives across generations.
I work at a church with an epic story. Eastside started in 1962, and celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. We have families with three generations who attended as small children, grew up, got married, had children, and now grandchildren who met Christ and were baptized here. And yesterday, one chapter of this epic story ended, as we moved out of the buildings where the Gospel was proclaimed for nearly 50 years. Next week a new chapter begins as we hold our first services at our new campus in Anaheim.
Like any great movie epic, this story also spans multiple cultures. Dong Shin Presbyterian Church bought our Fullerton campus and moves in this week. I love that they’ve posted pictures of our “old” building, and proclaim it a new “vision center.” An evangelical Chinese church is also moving in to their previous facility. This is a pretty busy week in the Kingdom.
I once heard the Gospel described as a beautiful quill pen, writing out a story. The four Gospels were written by disciples who had been in the presence of Jesus. They lived the story first-person. They became leaders of the early church, and passed the story on, and it began to spread throughout the world. Constantine took up the pen and moved the story from the secrecy of persecution to the public acceptance of palaces. Across the centuries, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin each picked up the pen and passed the story forward. And somewhere a hundred years ago, someone you don’t know picked up the pen, and passed the Gospel to someone, who passed it to someone else, who passed it to someone you know – a parent, a teacher, a friend – who showed you your place in God’s family and his epic story.
And now the pen is in your hand, and mine. It’s our turn to write the next chapter in our epic story. To whom will you pass the pen?