and Why It is Important
Our lives derive meaning from the stories we are embedded in. These stories let us know where we came from and what our challenges are, and they help us to understand where we want to go. On a much larger scale, the people in the United States derive meaning from the stories of how this country came to be, what its basic principles are, the ways it has strayed from its ideals, and the times our political life worked well. For many of the founders of this nation, the narrative of the nation they were creating was nestled in a larger story –the story of the Creation, Fall, and Redemption of humankind as reflected in the Bible.
We live in a time when the traditional stories and myths that guided our forebearers are losing, or have lost, their power over people’s lives. For example, over the last 100 years, the Bible story of the Creation, Fall and Redemption of humanity has seemed compelling to a smaller and smaller percentage of people in the U.S. This has made it possible for our country to be more fragmented and polarized for the simple reason that the core story that had given meaning, purpose, and direction to life is believable to a smaller and smaller group of people.
As this has happened, something else has occurred during the last fifty years: our understanding of how our Universe began, as well as the story of its development and glimmers of where it is headed, have become known with greater and greater clarity, breath, and comprehensiveness. This is interesting for a lot of reasons, but one of those reasons is that it gives humanity a Big Story common and relevant to all.
This Sunday we will explore the ways the Big Story encapsulating the history of our species and life on earth can provide meaning, commonality of purpose, and hope.