This last Sunday, January 7th, we kicked off our new sermon series, The Whole Story. As Genesis is the first book of the Bible, we began there, by covering chapters one through eleven (we’ll cover twelve through fifty next week). This breakout is because this expansive book of the Bible deals with two very important themes for the rest of the Story. Namely, “Creation and Fall” (Genesis 1-11) and “The Covenant with Abraham” (Genesis 12-50).
In addition to posting the sermon each week (you can find it here), we are providing additional resources for your further study and understanding in response to the sermon and, more importantly, the text of the Story. It is our hope that you will use these resources in your community group, in your family worship time, or in conversations with friends, to further interact with and apply this portion of God’s Story to your lives.
As I mentioned in the service on Sunday, we have partnered with the Bible Project to provide the majority of these additional materials. We are incredibly grateful for this highly skilled group of artist theologians who are inspiring us all to more pleasure and delight in The Whole Story of God’s plan of rescue and restoration. Here are the resources for this past week’s sermon and text, Genesis 1-11:
- The Bible Project page for Genesis 1-11.
- Each week, this will be the most important part of further investigating this section of The Whole Story. On this page you will find the one sentence summary for Genesis 1-11, an interactive “Milestones” section, multiple videos that will help you grow in your understanding of this portion of the story, the ability to download a study guide for the text, recommended books to read further, and finally, additional articles and podcasts on the text.
- In the sermon, I reflected on the pursuit of Bible reading, and how sometimes that can be quite difficult. I quoted from a book I recently read, and many of you asked about it. You can find Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life here.
- I also mentioned a very helpful podcast by a good friend of mine, which will be covering Biblical Theology over the coming year. Biblical Theology is, in essence, a branch of theology that better helps us understand the whole story of Scripture. The name of the podcast is Doctrine and Devotion, and you can find out more information about following it, and their blog, here.
One final thing. This will also be a place where we continue to share ideas for how to be consistent, regular, and successful in reading through The Whole Story together this year. If you find yourself having difficulty keeping up reading the story traditionally, that is, holding a paper Bible in your hand, you may find great help listening to the Bible. It still counts! There are multiple apps and websites that allow you to listen to a text of your choosing for FREE. My favorite is probably the ESV mobile app and the ESV website.
And by the way, if you have questions, suggestions, or a testimony you’d like to share as we make our way reading and preaching through The Whole Story, please call, email, or talk to me on a Sunday morning. I’d love to hear from you.
And remember, be sure to read Genesis 12-50 in preparation for the upcoming sermon on Sunday, January 14th.
In the name of Jesus, the point of The Whole Story,
Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, and was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
How Can We Pursue A Long Repentance In The Same Direction?
This last Sunday, in Calvary’s morning gathering, we studied the book of Haggai together as part of God’s Whole Story. Together we heard God speak through his prophet to his people after the exile, challenging them to remain faithful and to rebuild the temple.
The book of Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. It has 4 oracles (think: sermons), 2 chapters, and about 1,100 words.
In the book of Jeremiah we read of God’s intention for Daniel and all of those with him who have been exiled from the land of promise.
We are in a sermon series called The Whole Story, so named because we started off with the assumption, and belief really, that the whole Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. Each and every book is a bit like a chapter that contributes to the overall story that God is telling.
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.