Last week we finished a 10 week overview of the Biblical narrative with our good friends Pure Hope. We used the outline of a great book called The Story we find Ourselves In. Read it. We wrestled with the question, what is the overarching Story of the Bible? It is strange how many of us who have grown up in close proximity to the Good Book have very little idea of what the message of the  whole Bible is. Maybe we are fluent in the writings of Paul or the first 3 books of Genesis or perhaps the gospels but we were more interested in asking how does it all fit together? And probably more important, what does it mean to be shaped by this story, what does it mean to 'live inside' this beautiful, compelling, complex and hopeful story? The author of the Story we Find Ourselves in provides a thumbnail outline of the biblical narrative as follows (I constructed a question for each 'episode' to give some insight into the particular episode):

Creation: (Gen 1-2)
  • "Where do we come from?"
Crisis: (Gen 3)

  • "What went wrong?"

Calling: (Gen 12)

  •  "How does God respond to what went wrong?"

Conversation: (Gen 13 - Malachi)
  • "How does God provide guidance to people who desire to live in harmony with one another, God and all of creation?"
Christ: (Matthew - John)

  • What was the message of Jesus and how does his life and death fit into all that preceded him?

Community: (Acts)

  • With the ascension of Jesus did the work and message of Jesus cease?

Consummation: (Revelation and Parts of the Gospels and Epistles)

  • Where is this all going? What is the source and nature of our hope for this fragile yet beautiful world?

We also included two weeks on Sacred Reading (in latin Lectio Divina). This is probably the most ancient way to read the Scriptures, not for information or entertainment, but rather with an openess to God. Trusting that through meditation and listening to the text one can gain wisdom, insight and guidance in life. We included this approach to help the Pure Hoper's see that the Bible is a wonderfully multifaceted book that can be read and interacted with in a number of ways.

I thought it was really a good time for us and have grown in my tenderness for the people that I am co-learning with and look forward to our continued learning together.