Epic

epicby J. Randal Matheny, editor

“Epic” is a favorite byword of a certain younger generation. Their use of it is ironic, since part of the definition of “epic” is length and a great degree of difficulty, exactly things that the aforementioned generation tends to avoid. Except for maybe a lengthy movie, they might handle that. But a book or poem of exceptional length, forget it. And something that requires some effort to understand also finds their interest waning fast.

The greatest epic of all — which is no myth, fiction, or made-up story — is the divine project of man’s salvation. This epic spans not only millennia, but the beginning and end of time, as well as the fringes of eternity. Its heroes are both divine and human. Its plot weaves the ambiguities and staggerings of man into the sovereignty of God.

This is an epic which ought to interest every generation. It contains men of war and women of courage. It describes treachery, ambition, and arrogance in sordid detail. It holds up virtue, valor, and integrity as qualities approved of God. It tells great stories of wars, struggles, travels, conquests, and small acts with earth-shattering consequences.

From time to time Hollywood attempts to portray a slice of this epic, but it usually misses key elements, inserts extraneous scenes, and inevitably fails to tie the story to the whole.

For all the human drama, the divine pathos is greater by far. The Creator spurned by his very creation. The man dependent upon his maker rejects his gifts, preferring instead to swallow the lies of an interloper.

Still yet, the Eternal Lover races behind his creature made in his own image for special communion. A contingency plan mapped out before the primeval chaos existed was engaged, designed to work within the framework of man’s resistance and across long centuries to finally be revealed in all its magnificence.

The ending has no equal. The world has never seen such a mustering of opposing forces for the final battle. Although there is much noise and rattling of sabers, the concluding conflict is brief and altogether satisfactory. The enemy does not rise again in a short cliff-hanger or two to attempt a surprise attack. The victory is complete and definitive.

We all love a good story. But none compares in size and length to the history of God in his dealings with man. We are still in the midst of it. We are a part of it. We even choose sides and, finding ourselves in the wrong camp, we may change the colors of our uniform.

Not only a younger generation who loves the word epic but has a short attention span needs to know this important news, but every generation in every place should be told of their part in this epic.

For one day, the epic will reach the last page, and the book will be closed, so that others may be opened.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet.

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