Today’s reading is drawn from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Deuteronomy 11:18-19.
Many people—some without even knowing it—read the Bible as if it were merely a manual for living a moral life. The Bible, however, is so much more than just that. It tells us not only about who we are and what our condition is, but also about who God is and what he has done in history to redeem us. Paramount to understanding the Bible is seeing it as a story.
The Bible is God’s telling of history that begins with creation, leads to Christ and ends with new creation. Even though he arrives before the ending, Christ is the climax of this narrative. All of Scripture points to him. And unless we know who Christ is, we cannot understand Scripture, because he is the key to the story, the leading character. This view of Scripture helps us to not only understand the Bible, but also to understand how work plays a critical role in the great drama of redemption.
Many people today read only a few small sections of the Bible at a time. While this approach can be helpful, it doesn’t allow those who follow it to learn the larger narrative of the Bible.
One reason why people have a difficult time integrating their faith with their work is that they lack a comprehensive understanding of the Biblical narrative. From Genesis through Revelation, God reveals the big picture of his redemptive purpose in history and in our lives. The story that begins in a garden waiting to be cultivated ends in a city filled with the treasures brought in by the nations. These beginning and end points provide the context to help us understand the significance of our work. God not only saves his people, but also the work his people were created to do.
When we understand that Scripture is a narrative and that God has been at work throughout all of history to redeem this world, we don’t have to be cynical about our work, particularly in times when brokenness feels so acute. Understanding the Biblical narrative reassures us with insights that lead us to identify not only the broken elements but also those things that are still good and in the process of being healed.