What this post is diving into is the concept of the stories found in Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (and probably other sacred or not even sacred writings)happening. They speak to something of T/truth and so they echo. NT Wright talks about the Christian story as a play that is still happening. So the things that happen in the first act are still with us even if all the actors have changed as the story has progressed. So, the story of creation - in whatever form it happened - is still happening. The story of brokenness entering the world and changing everything somehow is still happening. The story of a man named Abraham being called to sew seeds of redemption is still happening. The story of Jesus is still happening. The Church lives out the collective echoes and reverberations of these various acts in the play.
So, when I walk into a new neighborhood - and especially as I settle into my neighborhood - I want to listen for those reverberations. I want to listen for the places and ways that the story is - as Rob Bell might say - happening. As we begin this slow work of cultivating a new church, we have to listen for the story of Jesus' church already in progress around us.
One way I've done this in the past - and a way I'm beginning to dream about in my new neighborhood - is through the stations of the cross. I believe the story of Jesus is echoing and bouncing off the walls, roads, alleys, institutions, faces, voices, and hearts that inhabit my neighborhood...and probably hopping and giggling up and down the graffiti'd hopscotch on the corner of 24th and Grand. The stations of the cross, I have found, is an excellent tool - a hearing aid - for tuning into those reverberations.
Here's a resource I made for listening to the story happening in your neighborhood. Feel free to use and share it around. I'd love to hear how you hear the story in your place.
And if you are in Everett, we would love - LOVE - to hear how you might fill in these blanks!
Here it is also as a PDF for print/read-ability