The Divine Drama

BY PAUL DUNK

If I don't preach Christ, then there's really no reason anyone should roll out of bed on Sunday to hear anything I have to say. 

Everything about "church," apart from Jesus, can be found elsewhere. Music that gives you the feels? Make a playlist. Kids programs? Get out and explore your city. Need to be inspired to be a good person? Ted Talks.

If I don't preach Christ, the comedy of errors a parent has to endure to get their children out the door for church just isn't worth it. If I remember correctly, Dante's 4th ring of hell is a hoard of toddlers who spill breakfast on themselves and need to be re-dressed as a large clock ticks down from 5 minutes, and when it reaches zero, the whole scene resets over and over for all eternity.

Even if a preacher was a freak of nature, possessing the wit of Steven Colbert, the woke factor of Hussan Minhaj and the uncanny off-the-cuff oratory ability of Russel Brand - if they're not preaching Christ, then whatever hobbyhorse they're riding that morning - it's of no value.

As we worship Christ and hear the words spoken by Him, we are changed by Him. Spurgeon knew what he was talking about when he encouraged preachers to "take their text and make a beeline to the cross."

The Bible is not a collocation of random stories. It's not an anthology. It's a divinely inspired literary wonder. 66 books, 40 different authors, 1500 years of compilation - and it all coheres to tell one story. As the meta-narrative unfolds, it reveals God's grace in an epic, divine drama. When our first parents committed divine treason and rejected the worship of God in favor of being god, God's response in Genesis 3 was shocking. In summary, it was...

"Where are you?"
"What Did you do?"
"I'm coming to save you."

The rest of the entire bible is about how that unfolds. Despite all our efforts to lengthen and enrich these cosmically short lives of ours, humanity moves on an unavoidable trajectory toward death. The good news of the gospel is that God came in great grace to interrupt our trajectory toward death to give us eternal life.

"Where are you?"
He comes to seek and save the lost.

"What Did you do?"
He calls us to confess our sin and our need for a Savior.

"I'm coming to save you."
In Christ, God provides everything for you that He requires from you.

The gospel enables us to understand this short life in relation to an eternal God. For everyone who is in Christ, tragedy is temporary, and life will be enjoyed for eternity. This good news changes how we live day-to-day. As the philosopher wrote in Ecclesiastes 3 - God has placed eternity in our hearts and coming to understand what that means changes everything. In Christ, time is no longer your enemy, slowly taking away everything. Time is God's ally, as He will eventually restore everything. And He will raise us from death to enjoy it.

The divine drama of the gospel is worth celebrating, being encouraged by, learning from, living into and the one reason worth rolling out of bed on Sunday morning.

Paul is a graduate of Knox Theological Seminary and the founding pastor of KW Redeemer in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.  He is an MCO race school graduate, but presently his main hobby is drinking espresso because it's cheaper than fixing cars. Paul and Susan live in Waterloo with their three children.
Twitter @PaulDunk