Summary: A Journey Through the Larger Story of the 66 Books of the Bible.
So hey there, good to see you and to have you with us. If you are a new friend here for the first time this weekend (or an online friend tuning in right now) as always we want to give a special shout out to you and let you know that you are always safe and welcome here regardless of how your story reads or what you believe. We really are a tribe of people who are just like you chasing after a better way to live and we believe that Jesus offers that. Having said that, here’s our challenge. We will never be able to find this life we’re chasing without an understanding of the story that we all find ourselves living in.
In its day Route 66 was a major route that stretched from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California that people traveled as they migrated west in search of a better life. We are calling this series Route 66 because we believe a journey through the story of the 66 books of the Bible will lead every single one of us to a better life too. Unfortunately, the larger story of the Bible is a story that can be easy to struggle with, misunderstand, or miss. Don’t feel bad, that was me for the first 40 years of my life. It creates problems for us. John Carroll says it this way “The waning of Christianity as practiced in the West is easy to explain. The Christian churches have comprehensively failed in this one central task: to retell their foundational story in a way that might speak to the times.” Here’s my theory. I think that the main reason that we don’t tell it is our struggle to understand it. We are setting out to change that in this series.
ILLUST> So Thursday is my major writing day after a full day of reading, note taking, and study on Wednesday. This past Thursday, in the early morning before writing time as I was sitting in my chair, drinking coffee, and trying to get centered I decided to read the Ransomed Heart daily email. You ought to subscribe to it if you don’t. The email Thursday was titled Living in Narrative. It said this. “Story is the language of the heart. Our souls speak not in the naked facts of mathematics or the abstract propositions of systematic theology; they speak the images and emotions of story. Contrast your enthusiasm for studying a textbook with the offer to go to a movie. If we’re going to find the answer to the riddle of the earth—and of our own existence—we’ll find it in story. Our heart is made to live in a Larger Story; having lost that we do the best we can by developing our own smaller dramas.”
It’s true, and those smaller stories never lead any of us to the life we are looking for. This past week I read some of the takeaways from 1st to 3rd graders from the Bible stories they were learning in church. I want to put a few of the ones that they wrote down up on the screen for you. Here you go. So, if the short stories are confusing to us it just makes sense that the larger story that they come together to tell will be too. Last week we talked about Genesis chapter 1 and how incomprehensible, indescribable, and mind blowing God’s creation really is. Let’s take the next step into that today with this. If the artwork is that incredible can you imagine what it would be like to get to know the artist. Actually, that is what the rest of the story is all about. So, let’s jump back into this and chase after that.
If you brought a Bible today we are going to be in Genesis chapter 3 today. If you don’t have a Bible they are back on the back tables that you can grab right now if you would like if you close or on you can always grab one on your way out. As always you can hit our app or the YouVersion app too. Or you can ignore all of that and read along with me on the screens. So before we dive into this, yes, we are still in the first 3 chapters of the very first book of the 66 books. Here’s the thing. The time period covered in the first 11 chapters of Genesis alone is the same as the rest of the story, the rest of the Bible combined. From a time perspective after we finish today we will be half way through the story. The time we are spending here is necessary. This stuff is foundational. We must understand some key things in the beginning of the story for the rest of the story to make sense to us. So here we go, Genesis chapter 3 verse 1…