“Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life (v. 20).”
The whistling main theme, wide cinematic Italian vistas, close-up
shots of grizzled faces, and trigger-happy fingers all combined to
make The Good, the Bad and the Ugly into the definitive spaghetti
Western. But as it turns out, the title has left a more indelible mark
than the movie ever could.
When the angel of God tells the freshly jail-broken apostles to go
and stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about
this life, that angel may as well have been instructing them to tell the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—the good, the bad,
and the ugly.
We’re good at telling the easy parts of our stories, the ones that make us look good, make us seem strong and confident, and aren’t subject to ridicule. We’re not as adept at telling the hard parts, the ones that reveal our fears and insecurities, the parts that others may not like, that make us vulnerable. No matter how hard the telling is, the honest truth of our stories is what people need to hear the most. Those are the parts that demonstrate the whole message about vulnerability, forgiveness, redemption, resilience, restitution, and, ultimately, salvation.
Serving together honestly requires each of us to tell the whole
truth about how God’s story affects our own. No single life holds the
whole message of this life. It’s only when our stories are told together
in God’s light that we hear the truth about this life more fully.
What parts of God’s story in my life am I hesitant to tell? Why? Who needs to hear what I have to say, even if it’s hard to say it?
God, give me the courage to share your whole message about this life as it has been revealed to me thus far. Amen.