I have preached through the narrative of the Bible in different ways in the past. For “The Word” series at our church, I decided to give an outline. In the past, I have always told people to avoid taking notes because it is too free-flowing. But I have also found myself spending so much time on the Old Testament that I have to rush through the New Testament.
For this time, I tried to write out some bullet points for the message for people to follow along with while allowing them to take the message down and share it with someone else. As I began to fill out the list, it felt rhythmic and so I began to rhyme a few of the lines. From the first few lines, I got into a rhythm myself and had to complete it for my own summary purpose. Since poetry is more naturally memorized, I attempted to bring it together this way.
This is an imperfect summary of a perfect narrative. Here is a Bible summary in 271 words.
God created the heavens and the earth,
Mankind rebelled trying to prove their worth.
Sin escalated to the shedding of blood,
God’s wrath displayed in the form of a flood.
Yet one was blessed to be a blessing,
A nation promised, a Messiah coming,
A people rescued out from slavery,
The Law given to show their inability.
Finally settled into the Promised Land,
Yet the cycle of sin punished again and again.
A kingdom established, kings took up the crown,
Yet the greatest of men still let the people down.
A nation divided while prophets warned in the streets,
Until godless enemies came and administered defeats.
A people in exile suffering with their guilt,
A remnant returns, a city rebuilt.
The people feared if they’d been left on their own,
400 silent years before the answer was known.
Glory to God and peace upon the earth,
A Savior was given, a virgin gave birth.
God in the flesh lived free from sin,
Jesus conveyed grace and truth from within.
Recognized as teaching with authority,
Despised and rejected by the Pharisees.
Christ crucified on the hill of Calvary,
Exchanged righteousness for our depravity.
Yet on the third day, the Savior would rise,
Commissioned the disciples in his ascent to the sky,
The Holy Spirit empowered, the gospel unashamed,
The Church established, giving everything away.
No amount of persecution could keep the message back,
Paul was converted, proclaimed the faith he attacked.
Among the nations, churches were multiplied,
Letters were sent, doctrine and practice clarified.
A revelation was given for though the future seems grim,
Christ will return and we will be with him.
[If interested, you can watch the entire message where I explain each of these lines here at “The Story of the Bible.”]
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.