I just finished reading an article in a popular periodical The politely polemic article concluded with “We don’t participate in a story, we participate in him.” That sounds quite good (and spiritual) on the surface – the kind of statement a preacher might give (with gusto) right at the end of a message. Hopefully followed with amens and hallelujahs. In the context of the article the statement was intended to put the final nail in the coffin of “there’s been too much emphasis of late on narrative/story.”
However. Let’s pause and evaluate the statement. The him is Jesus. That’s clear. From there on the logic gets fuzzy. Is it that we don’t participate in any story whatsoever? Ever? Or is it that we should participate primarily in him and not primarily in story? And to those introductory questions I would have to add others – like: Why the dichotomy? Is it possible to live in him without also participating in his story? Is it really either/or? And besides isn’t he ontologically “in story?” And isn’t the story he is in important? Like, really important. If it is not important then the him could be any number of hims (make up your own.) Hmm, now that would change the story.