Year in the Bible, the BIG story so far
Today we had a lunch after church to celebrate the end of our first quarter of Year in the Bible. Looking back it is a great amount of reading that has been finished and so many of the big stories of the Bible have been covered. You’ve really accomplished a lot in just a few months.
We’ve gone from creation to God’s people readying themselves to enter the promised land. In between God has shown himself to be faithful and true, strong and mighty, full of grace and mercy, as well a God of judgment who does not tolerate sin. God has chosen a people for himself, beginning with Abraham, and has provided all that was needed. But God’s provision and sufficiency ironically never seem like enough and Israel always turns away. God meets this faithlessness with his grace. There is judgment, like 40 years of wandering, but God never ceases being a God for us.
God is never revealed more clearly as for us than in Jesus Christ, of whom we read about in the New Testament. We read John and Luke who present to the reader the gospel, and that is the story of Jesus Christ. God is for us and has stopped at nothing to make us his own, and this means that God came to earth in Jesus Christ and took our sin upon himself, dying the death that we deserve, so that we can be reconciled. Now we a sinful people can be with a holy God.
In response to such an amazing, world-changing event, the lives of the disciples of Christ can never be the same. In the book of Acts we see the way in which the church exists in light of the death and resurrection of Christ, as empowered by his Spirit.
Now in quarter two we take up both of these strands and follow the story further along. The promised land, which has been held out before Israel, is finally occupied in the book of Joshua. We’ll then see Israel move from prophets and judges to a nation that wants and gets a king for itself, just like all the other nations. This summer quarter will also give us a chance to read all of the minor prophets who speak against the nation, calling for its people to return to God and to his ways.
The church that finds its footing in the Roman empire is still in need of help and encouragement and we’ll read many letters that were circulated to do just that. These are the letters of Paul and Peter, who sought to build up the people and strengthen the small group of believers who would one day rise up from under the oppression of a hostile culture to be a force for the kingdom of God.
That’s what we’ll have to look forward to this summer quarter of Year in the Bible, starting this week. Hope you can stay with it. I’ll be praying for you and for your time spent with God in his word.