Three Quotes and Two Dictionary Entries
1. “In [a true fairy-story] when the sudden ‘turn’ [or ‘eucatastrophe’] comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart’s desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through… The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation ( J.R.R. Tolkien, On Fairy-Stories)”.
2. “The brain is a narrative device continuously and inevitably creating stories to explain and understand the world and our role in it, to remember and to anticipate events, to create worlds that might not otherwise exist (Frank Smith, Understanding Reading, italics added).”
3. “[T]he only thing that makes the Christian church different from any other group in society is that the church is the only community that gathers around the true story. It is not the piety, or the sincerity, or the morality of the church that distinguishes us … It is the story we treasure, the story from which we derive our identity, our vision, and our values (Chris Marshall in “Paul and Christian Social Responsibility”).”
In the Webster’s dictionary, there are two sequential entries, first on “realpolitik”, next on “real presence”. Realpolitik is “politics [or life!] based on practical and material factors” – upon the routine story the world tells about the violence and counter violence on which all “civilization” ultimately rests. Christ’s “real presence realpolitik” is about the preposterous story the Gospels tell about the Resurrection on which the Kingdom of Peace ultimately rests.
We are called to live out the realpolitik of the Resurrection today. Amen.