This came from Young Life campaigners and was adapted into weekend retreat series. One can find more campaigners talks at ylministry.com


When I was younger, my brother Levi and I would watch the star wars trilogy over and over.  We loved those movies. In fact I can still watch those movies again and again. There is something about them that grab my imagination. There is something about a good story that grabs us, it does more then just interact with us, it tugs at our hearts, it is calling from our hearts, eternity. There is something universal about stories. 


Stories are everywhere, they are how we communicate, they are how we introduce ourselves, they are how we learn about history, they are how we dream about the future. A good story is timeless.  John Eldredge says it like this "Might it be that we have been given our longings for love and adventure for romance and sacrifice as a kind of clue, a treasure map to the meaning of Life itself?"

What makes a great story? There are several points that I would like to make, but if I were to have to choose one, I would choose "Relationships". In the beginning of our story we find God in Holy Trinity. "He has always been Trinity--Father, Son, Holy Spirit. God has always been a fellowship. Our whole Story began with something relational. Human personality didn't just happen, it came not from something impersonal, but from something very personal, very relational." J.E.



God's eternal personal intimacy inside the trinity reveals to us, information about our nature. We after all were created in God's image. We are created relational just as God is relational. "From the Heart of the universe come our beating hearts. From this Fellowship spring all of our longings for a friend, a family, a fellowship--for someplace to belong." J.E. We all desire to be accepted, to be loved, and to be invited into a fellowship. We want to know that love is more than the broken emotions we see in life. Divorce is devastating to children because it destroys the belief that love is strong enough to overcome any difficulty. Divorce is devastating because it ends the story. We all desire to live in a story, were love doesn't die, where it overcomes anything. We all desire to be in that relationship, to be a part of that love. Divorce is devastating to children because children would much rather know that their parents loved each other than that they loved them. We need to know that love is real that it endures. That a world of love is planned for us and waits for us, and that we can count on it.

Here is the truth, Love, true love, it is supposed to endure everything, it is supposed to overcome, it is supposed to handle anything and everything. But love doesn't always look the way we think it should. Love is harder than we know, and softer than we thought it was. Love is bigger, more massive, and intensely intimate. This love is Gods' Love. God is doing whatever it takes to get our attention. He is perusing us, wooing us, trying to win our hearts. However there is an enemy in this story. Lucifer the most magnificent angel, has gone rogue. "(his) heart became proud on account of (his) Beauty, and (he) corrupted (his) wisdom because of (his) splendor." Ezekiel 28:17 Pride entered Lucifer's heart, he wanted the story to be about him.



God because of who God is, deserves all of the praise. God because of who he is, is the center of the story. The Story is about God, and the story will bring Glory to God. God created us to be in relationship with him, he invites us into the intimacy of the trinity, to engage in what only God engages in, not to be gods but to experience the personal fellowship that is God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We are invited into the Great Romance. And because Lucifer, now called Satan, desires the story to be about him. He, Satan, is coming after us. He wants to destroy our hearts, because if he can destroy our hearts, then he destroys our ability to enter into the Great Romance that is the the Holy Trinity. Satan wants to destroy everything that is of God. CS Lewis said “one of the things that surprised me when I first read the New Testament seriously was that it talked so much about a Dark Power in the universe-a mighty evil spirit who was held to be the Power behind death, disease, and sin... Christianity thinks this Dark Power was created by God, and was good when he was created and went wrong Christianity agrees... this is a universe at war.”

The Great Romance is where our story and God's Story intersect. It is where our hearts are connected, thats where we desire the best for the other, and we pursue them such to win that chance to give them the best. God is inviting us into something that only the trinity has, angels do not have that relationship with God. They see God for who he is, but they don't get invited into the secret places as one of them. God invites us to participate in the same way he participates.... its beyond comprehension. But that is where the story gets complicated. Love complicates things. It complicates every life. God's problem is not that God is not able to do certain things, God's problem is that God loves. Because of love, God gives us the dignity of freedom, to choose for or against him.

However we did not choose God, He invited us into fellowship, and we betrayed God. However it was our choice, despite God's extravagant generosity, we had to reach for the one forbidden thing. Like Lucifer Pride has entered our hearts. Pride is the opposite of how the trinity lives. Pride is self centered. Pay attention to the movements of your own heart in a single day. Most of the misery we suffer on this planet is the fruit of the human heart gone bad. "Most of the religions concur that if we are truly honest, we’ll confess that we have it in us to be the Beast, the wicked stepsister, Scrooge." J.E.


"The kingdom has been overthrown. Paradise has been lost evil holds sway or is gather at the borders of the land ready to make its final move. Frodo barely makes it out of the shire with his life and the ring of power. The Nine Black riders cross the river on midsummer's eve and are hunting down the little hobbit with deadly intent. The future of Middle Earth stands on the edge of a knife." The whole world is under the control of the evil one 1 John 5:19 "The hour is desperate “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope” J.E. There is hope, every great story is hoping for not just any rescuer, but one who loves the distressed. God is that rescuer, he has been sharing his painful epic, of his pursuit of mankind. First with Noah, then with Abraham, and then with the nation of Israel. In all of these God is looking for a people who will turn to him from the heart, to be his intimate allies once more.

Rescuing the human heart is mission impossible, but Jesus took on that mission. The devil has no intention of letting us walk away. He seduces us, deceives us, assaults us-whatever it takes to keep us in darkness. God says “I long to be gracious to you. you are precious and honored in my sight. because I love you. but you are the offspring of adulterers. you have made your bed on a high and lofty hill, forsaken me, you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide. you have been false to me. (Isaiah) God says I will answer you according to your idols [your false lovers] in order to recapture your heart. (Ezekiel) God is filled with the jealousy of a wounded lover.

Jesus sets aside his glory, clothes himself with humility, and sneaks into the enemy camp, under cover of night, to whisper words of love to his own; “I have come for you.” This is after all, a love story. "We are born in love, by love, and for love," as Gerald May has said, From the laughter of the Trinity we came, and to the laughter of the Trinity we must return. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (Jeremiah 24:7) God created us in freedom to be in intimate fellowship, he will not give up on us, not only does he desire us to be his allies, but much much more.


This is all a story, some might call it an epic. Where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name... that is the fairy tale of the Gospel, with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales. which is that the claim made for it is that it is true. That it not only happened once upon a time but has kept happening ever since. J.E.

There is more to this story, but If I kept going, this already to long post would be impossibly long. Just look at my notes on this, its ten pages, with 43 points, and many more sub-points. Therefore I leave you with this, do you know this longing for relationship, the longing for a love that is more real than anything you have experienced. Why is it that we have these yearnings in our being, if there isn't something to satisfy that feeling. “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” C.S. Lewis. We have these desires because we desire the love and intimacy promised us at the dawn of creation. We desire God himself.

Look here for the Sermon notes.
And here for all campaigners lessons this year.