When you pick up a Bible what exactly are you holding? The Bible is several things. It’s a library filled with stories. A collection of events from dozens of authors in numerous contexts spread out over more than a thousand years. There’s absolutely nothing like it in human history, and in this regard it’s fascinating. This is how many of us have been taught to see the Bible, as a “What?” question. What is the Bible? It’s a bunch of really great stories!
This is how I viewed the Bible when I went off to college, a precocious Bible trivia nerd enrolled as a Bible major at age 18. It’s also precisely why I did NOT know that the same David who killed Goliath as a little kid grew up to be King David. Because no one had ever told me the story of David; only stories about David.
That’s embarrassing to admit, but true. Which leads me to a second, more important, answer to the question What is the Bible? It is ONE story: the story of God’s Mission in our world. These 66 books (39 from the time of the Hebrews, 27 from the era of the early church), this enormous cast of characters, these numerous concepts in dialogue with each other tell us GOD’S STORY.
And when we answer the question that way, everything changes. The “what?” question drifts into the background (along with the “how?” question) to be supplanted by a much more meaningful – if not odd sounding – question, Why the Bible?
The Bible is precisely because it reveals to us God’s story, clarifying who and how God is, and what God is up to in our world. The Bible is because it invites us to see ourselves as characters in that story. Ordinary you and normal I are as much a part of the story as Abraham, Esther, Nebuchadrezzar or Mary. This summer we’ll look at God’s Story in 5 Acts. Our place in God’s story is in Act 5, a context which calls for a specific way of being that differs from the other 4 Acts in God’s story. Join us for Worship this Sunday as we Enter God’s Story, celebrating that this is where we are.