SYNC in story form

The Rescuer

Version 7: Restoring the Lost Glory

 

Stan Nussbaum

 

Note: There are seven versions of “The Rescuer” story, one for each SYNC season. Each version comes at the story from a slightly different angle. This is the “Glory Season” version. 

God, the Real God, creates a beautiful, glorious world with life everywhere. He visits it often to talk with the first humans, who enjoy it all on just one condition—not to eat fruit from the one glory-killing tree.

 

An enemy of God tells them that the fruit will enhance their glory, not kill it, but the instant they eat it, they realize they were conned. They get disgraced and banished from their glorious home.

 

As generations go by, the glory gets pushed out of human life by jealousy, corruption, violence, and racism. But instead of blowing up the earth and starting over with a new planet, God launches a plan to restore his glory to this one.

 

His plan is not just to tell people what they should do. That never works. He creates his own ethnic group to show and tell his glory to all the others. Before the group’s founder, Abraham, even has any children, God tells him that his descendants will bless every last family on earth. The rest of this story explains how that promise came true and is still coming true.

 

Abraham’s descendants experience God’s glory in amazing ways as he frees them from slavery in Egypt by a string of miracles, reveals himself to Moses at Mt. Sinai, gives them a homeland through Joshua, and extends their influence through King David.

 

King Solomon builds a glorious Temple for the Real God, but he also marries many princesses from other countries, and he honors their fake gods too. So do many of his descendants. The Real God will not share his glory with fakes, and after many warnings through his prophets, he finally allows the king of Babylon to take over their homeland. His Temple is destroyed. His glory leaves his people for hundreds of years.

 

And then out of nowhere God makes his next move. An angel appears to Mary and tells her she will miraculously become pregnant with the baby who will bring God’s glory back to the world. More angels gloriously appear to shepherds when the baby is born in Bethlehem.

 

That baby, Jesus, grows up to declare: “God’s glory is arriving on earth now! His reign is beginning!” He shows it by healing many people and by teaching brilliantly in ways that ordinary people could understand.

 

Powerful people see that he will try to take over everything if they do not stop him. Eventually they get him executed on a cross as a dangerous deceiver. But as they hold the King of Glory up for public disgrace and place his dead body into a guarded tomb, their plan backfires.

 

All it does is set the stage for the most glorious event in human history. On the third day, God the Father frees him from the grave! It proves he is the Real King, and it gives his messengers a riveting story to tell the world.

 

They see him go up into the sky one last time. Then angels tell them he is coming back to complete the glory mission, destroying evil and re-establishing God’s liberating control over everything and everybody.

 

But meanwhile he is not just biding his time, sitting on his throne in heaven. Ten days after going up there, he sends his Holy Spirit to bring his glory and power down into his followers. They are forgiven of their shameful past, and they start pointing the whole world to him. Often they run into powerful people who trash them like he was trashed, but they can take it with his courage because he lives in them.

 

We pick up where they left off. As Abraham’s heirs and Jesus’ messengers, we already see his glory arriving in us by his Spirit, making us more and more like him. It’s a wonderful way to live, and it shows sneak previews of what the Rescuer will do everywhere when he returns.

 

That's our story. What else would you like to know about it before you would say, "I'm in"?

 

Epilogue

 

If you have been missing out on this glory recovery story and you think you might want to get in on it, the door is open, but be careful. If you say, "I'm in. Sign me up for the Glory Team," you are saying these things:

  1. Yes, God deserves more glory than we could ever give him, and he is proactively and patiently working his glory restoration plan.
     

  2. Yes, God's whole plan revolves around Jesus, the king God appointed to restore the glory of the world.
     

  3. Yes, I want Jesus to put his Spirit, life, and power into me, plugging me into the glory recovery team that goes all the way back to Abraham.
     

  4. Yes, I am taking my first action as a team member—forgiving everybody for everything like Jesus has forgiven me.
     

  5. Yes, I will trust Jesus and his Spirit to get me through any disgrace that comes to me as I carry on with the team mission he will complete when he returns.

 

If you say “yes” to these things, Jesus moves into your life and you become part of the glory restoration plan that started with Abraham. That is what the rest of your life will be about—finding out what Jesus meant when he said, "God’s glory is arriving on earth now!" You won't get to seek any glory for yourself any more, but you will radiate the glory of Jesus Christ, and by the power of his Spirit you will contribute to the recovery of the glory of the whole world.

    

SYNC seasons

(glory woven into all seven)

 

Life

 

 

Connection

Freedom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Power,

Forgiveness,

Courage

 

 

Glory

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