God is telling a grand story and Christians are invited to find their role in that story, said Jared Wellman, lead pastor of Tate Springs Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, during his chapel sermon at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, March 31.
“God is a sovereign storyteller who is inviting us into the greatest story ever told,” Wellman said.
Wellman is a current Ph.D. student in Southwestern Seminary’s Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions. He also serves as a trustee of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.
Preaching from Ephesians 1:7-10, Wellman said that God reveals to His people the mystery of His will and story for the history of the world through the story of Jesus Christ.
Examples of God as the supreme storyteller, Wellman said, can be found throughout Scripture in its themes, parables, and particularly the redemptive story of Christ, “the greatest story ever told.”
“The first thing we want to see from the text is that God created storytelling to tell a grand narrative about the cosmos through Christ,” Wellman said. “The major tension in the text has to do with the idea of ‘mystery.’”
Wellman explained that what was a “mystery” in the Old Testament was being made known in the New Testament through Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection.
God is the initiator and creator of all things, Wellman said, and is therefore the creator of the “rules” of storytelling expressed even through modern stories. This structure, he added, came from God as a means to communicate a significant message and that Christians must respond.
“Not only has God created this medium by which He is telling the great story, but what we want to see is that our text actually tells the story for us,” Wellman said. “This is the middle part, if you will, between eternity past and eternity future.”
In this passage, Wellman added, verses 7-8 reflect such a story structure.
“Humanity falls, Jesus is our guide, He gives us the plan of the Gospel, [and] He gives us a call to action to turn to Jesus, which is going to result in either salvation or the tragedy of God’s wrath coming upon us, as we see in the book of Romans,” Wellman said.
Wellman then added that Christians can glean from this that God is telling a grand story and that they are invited to discover their own role, to participate in His story, and to retell that story to others.
“The church is designed to participate within the unfolding drama of God’s redemption story in Christ,” Wellman said. “And we can do this in aesthetically pleasing ways by retelling the story, by painting, by poetry, by writing books, literature, music, and even spoken word.”
“As beings uniquely created in God’s image,” Wellman concluded, “we are created to create, so we need to be enthralled with the greatest story ever told and find out how we, as followers of Christ, can go out and share that with the world.”