At our first ever Proximity Community Group we talked about how the Bible is the story of God's mission in the world. It is a consistent story written by at least 37 different authors across a time period of almost 1600 years. We did a more detailed outline than the one above:
1. Creation (Genesis 1-2) - God creates and there is perfect harmony (Shaloam) between God, humans, and Creation
2. Babel (Genesis 3-11) - stories of sin scattering the nations. Adam/Eve; Cain/Abel; Noah's Ark; Tower of Babel.
3. Exodus - God makes a promise to Abraham to make him into a great nation. Salvation story of God saving Israel from Egypt
4. Sinai - 50 days after the Passover Israel arrives at Sinai where God's presence comes down. A covenant is made and Israel promises to obey
5. Monarchy - Kingdom and Community is established
6. Exile - Israel sins and the nations are scattered (Similar to Babel section)
7. Jesus - Messianic promise and salvation story of God saving people from sin (similar to Exodus)
8. Pentecost - 50 days after the Passover festival God's presence comes down and dwells within his believers. The believers promise to obey God (similar to Sinai)
9. Church - Kingdom and Community is established (Similar to Monarchy)
10. Armageddon (Revelation 12-20) - Serpent appears (Fall) and gathers the nations to go against Son of Man (reversal of Tower of Babel)
11. New Creation (Revelation 21-22) - God creates perfect harmony (Shaloam) between God, humans, and creation.
We are part of the story. We are living in the Church part of the story right now. When we see the Bible as a story that stretches from the beginning of time to the end of time we no longer see the Bible as simple a rule book or a story of the past but a story that we are a part of today. And we can see the goal of the story. It is building up to the point when God makes the world new again and we all live in Shalom with God, each other, and with creation. That means we seek to live that out in the here and now and so the Bible effects our lives each and every day.