Summary: This is the introduction sermon for the series through the Old and New Testament based on "The Story" This is God’s Story from Creation to the return of Jesus.
In Jesus Holy Name April 24, 2016
Text: II Timothy 3:16 Series: The Story Redeemer
“The Story of God, The Story of Us”
Life is a story. You wake up. What will happen next? Each day the sun comes up. Each day the sun sets. All sorts of characters move in and out of your day. Stories are how we figure things out.
Stories nourish us. We might know courage is a virtue but watching Maximus in Gladiator, gives us courage. If you want to know someone…. You need to know their story.
I love stories. I love stories. My grandmother’s stories.
She was born in 1888. The days of no telephone. No electricity. You made your own fun. She would come to our house for Sunday evening dinners. Maybe Saturday. I don’t remember …but I remember the stories.
Here is one of her stories. Once….. when her parents took the horse and buggy to town they left her and her sister, Lizzi home. They decided to play with the family ducks. Caught them. Put them in the horse tank to watch them swim. So the day went. Oh NO! they got wet. Can’t let mom and dad know we got the ducks wet. They took them in the house. The wood stove also heated the oven. So we put the ducks in the oven to dry their feathers. When they were dry we put them back in their pen.
How many of you believe the story? But it tells you something about her life.
I love stories: Our sermon series last year. The role of “kingship”. I Samuel 8:6-7 I really enjoyed the story of the “kings.” Why? Because I learned something about God and Jesus. As you remember in I Samuel 8 the children of Israel asked for a king. The truth? God is omniscient. God is omnipresent. But they wanted a King they could see.
First Saul, then David, then Solomon. And others. Many were terrible. The people suffered. Why did God allow evil kings? God’s story ….He enters human history to repair the human story….
Then Jesus comes…. John 6 (people were looking for a king and tried to make Jesus King by force. Then Pilot nails to the cross. Jesus, King of the Jews. This Jesus conquers death and rises from the grave. He will come again in the “clouds” with all the angels and believers who have died before and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. That’s God’s story.
I love stories. Don’t you love the story of the “shepherds” visiting the manger in Bethlehem?
Every year we get out our manger set. Set it up. Then after Christmas pack it away until next year. Why do we love the shepherds? They are reminders of God’s story.
Because of God’s love for his people he had Moses set up one of the 12 tribes to be shepherds of the children of Israel. It was the tribe of Levi. Their responsibility was to teach the Israelite families and children, God’s story. Of Creation. His rescue by Moses from slavery. The Passover and teach them the commandments.
Well, they failed… and just like the Pharisees added hundreds of rules, telling people that they could “earn” God’s love. Ezekiel 34. (read) That’s man’s story.
Jesus comes and in John 10 says: I am the Good Shepherd. I lay down my life for my sheep. That’s God’s story.
This is God’s Story. God made the earth: sky, land, sea, stars, plants, animals, humans
It was good.
It was paradise.
It was the first grace: the Grace of Creation.
Man and woman together reflect God’s image as community. God loves us, but the very nature of love means that it is a “gift”. God will never force anyone to love Him….for therefore it would no longer be “love”. That’s why God gave Adam and Eve free will. Adam and Eve chose to listen to a creature rather than the Creator. His vision is ruined.
a. Evil entered the world for the first time. This is now our story. For we too have chosen our own way.
The result? The Punishment
Curse of working the land.
Curse of child bearing pains.
Curse of the snake is that of crawling on his belly.
Death of all life is part of the animal and human experience.
I believe in sin. I have seen it destroy people and ruin people. Even though I have seen it in my family’s life and even though I’ve seen how destructive it is, I still do it. Sin was not part of God’s good plan. It is something that humans brought into the world through their own free will. God intended the world to be ordered. Sin brought in chaos.
God is a God of order. Creation has an order. Look at your universe. Planets don’t crash into each other. You own body cells are structured for health. God even provided a “cross” in each of your cells called: “Laminin” Chaos, or sin, is not part of God’s design