Today is Groundhog Day. Though an undervalued holiday, it did give rise to one of the best holiday-centered movies (outside several Xmas films) of all time: Groundhog Day. This clever Bill Murray flick depicts a man experiencing the curse of going through the same day over and over again. Everyday is Groundhog Day. It literally couldn’t get more monotonous. But it also couldn’t be more clever. Yet I don’t want to talk about the genius of simplicity displayed in the movie but rather the simplistic and beautiful monotony of gospel story-telling.
Christ Church Santa Fe pastor Martin Ban once challenged a potential pastor from going into ministry without recognizing the simplistic monotony of the gospel story. Cunningly he asked, “Are you sure you want to be a pastor, you know, we only have one story we tell each week?” Well surely you change the story up each week? He said, “Nope, one story and we tell it over and over. Being a pastor is like Groundhog’s Day. We have one story and we tell it over and over again. We never change it. It never changes.”
This simple story of the gospel is the story that saves us, shapes us, and provides meaning for life and power to love. Sometimes it is expressed theologically in the terms Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Consummation. Sometimes it is re-enacted in worship through a Call to Worship, Response of Praise, Confession, Assurance of Grace, Response of Thanksgiving, and then through a Sermon where God speaks to us via His preached Word.
Regardless it is the same story. And I love to tell it and hear it told each week. Each day. It is monotonously beautiful.
Of course we can go deep into different parts of God’s story of Redemption, but it is the same monotonously beautiful story that never changes, but is constantly changing us. Or like Rich Mullins sang about the story expressed in the Apostle’s Creed: “I did not make it, no it is making me….”