I Love to Tell the Story
by Rev. Scott Dickison
To many outside the church, the Christian faith often comes across as a system of out-of-date rules and regulations—“Thou salt not this, that or the other”—and the Bible is understood to be simply a directory of these instructions.
But if you’ve read much of the Bible at all you know that by and large it is not a collection of rules and regulations, but instead a collection of stories, which taken together form one larger story of God and the people of God. Even what rules there are in the Bible always come within the context of a story. The 10 Commandments, for instance, don’t just drop out of thin air, but come to us within the story of the Exodus—God’s word given to Moses on Mount Sinai to pass on to the people to let them know what was asked of them as they became God’s chosen ones.
In the Gospels, Jesus’ primary mode of teaching was through stories. Sometimes we’d prefer for him to just tell us plainly how to live or what’s involved in a life of discipleship— a series of bullet points would be nice. But instead we’re given the parables: proverbs and stories that on the surface seem simple but whose full meaning always seems just out of reach.
We are a people bound by a story: the story of the Bible, which is the story of God and God’s people, and starting next Sunday, September 22, we’re going to immerse ourselves in the Biblical story together during the sermon each week in worship.
We’ll start with the first chapter of Genesis and the story of creation, and work through the major stories of the Old Testament, until Christmas Eve when we’ll celebrate the story of Christ’s birth. From there we will work our way through the story of Jesus and the early church, so that by the end of the school year we will have traveled through the entire Bible, starting with creation, wading through the story of Israel, walking with Jesus through his life here on earth, entering the new horizons of the early church, and ending with the question of how our story picks up where the Bible’s ends.
Be on the lookout for more information this upcoming week, including a full schedule of sermon texts and resources from now through the end of the year so that you and your Sunday school class can follow along.
I’m excited to begin this journey through Scripture together, and I hope that by traveling through the Bible in this way we’ll learn anew how the biblical story is truly our story, so that we’ll be better able to tell both.