Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Denouement [dey-noo-mahn]

In the book "To Be Told" mentioned in the previous post, Dan Allender spends much of the first section comparing our life's story to the elements found in any other story. He speaks of characters and plot and how in all good stories, shalom is shattered and their is a quest for redemption. These same elements present themselves in our own stories.

The final element he mentions is one called "denouement". This is a French term that refers to the point in a story when redemption occurs and peace is secured, if but for a brief moment. It's that time in the book or movie when the plot twists and brokenness of the story unfolds into understand and resolve. This is what Allender says about the denouement of our own story:

"Tragedy mars shalom, but denouement invites us to remember our innocence and dream of a day of even greater redemption. Denouement is an ending that serves as the prelude for a new beginning; there is always the next turn in the road. A new story begins the moment the old one ends. But a denouement is a respite that calls us to stop the journey for a brief interlude--to eat, drink, sing, dance, and tell our story to others."

Unfortunately we fail to celebrate well. We get so caught up in life that we fail to enjoy it. Rather than celebrating with our family at the end of a long day, we turn on the tv and watch fictional characters celebrate with each other in a fictional story.

The church has failed to celebrate as well. For a year or so I have been thinking that Sunday worship services should be more about celebration that anything, and this idea of denouement is enforcing that idea. After a long week of writing our own story, the church must come together for a brief respite to share with each other how God is writing each individual story and how we have co-authored the tale.

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