The whole story of the bible (in 3 minutes)

From my talk on Sunday about following Jesus’ command to love God and one another.

Before the beginning  there was nothing, only God. Complete in himself, the relationship of Trinity defined in love, but longing to extend that relationship. So God dreamed. People, giving themselves completely in love to each other and to God. Such a beautiful dream that it would be worth any cost. First to make a universe to contain the dream – let there be light! So God made humans, designed to be like him with a huge capacity to love and a desire to share it. At first it was good, very good, but that relationship was broken by jealousy, disobedience and hiding. God kept chasing, always giving love and receiving fragments back. When he saw only one man loving purely, God swept away the rest with a flood and saved just the one family. The dream slipped away again, so God again picked out one man to love especially. As Abraham grew in love for God, promises were fulfilled and his family grew to a nation. When they were captives, God rescued them. When they didn’t know how to be an independent nation, God gave them laws. When they needed a home, God conquered a country for them. But they kept forgetting him. They didn’t like being different, they wanted to replace God with a King – and God let them. Though a king could lead them away from God, he gave one to them. When the kingdom split, there were twenty kings in the north, not one of them led the people to love God more. Twenty kings in the south, only eight led the people to love God more. God’s people ignored the voices of his prophets, drowned them out with their own noise. We hear the haunting voice of God comparing his people to a wife who ran off to find other men, forgetting her first love. So God sent them to Babylon, so that they might find he was still with them, as his prophets told them. And some of them did. They noticed, they loved back.
God comes to his people in Jesus, after a long time of quiet, saying that loving is at the heart of knowing God. As they kill him, he keeps on loving, keeps putting others before him, keeps forgiving. And in his wake, a Spirit filled group of followers tell the world that they can know God, that love is the key. It’s so beautiful that they’re like a bride to Jesus, returning his love. John foretells in his Apocalypse that the story ends with the dream realised, God dwelling with humans, the end of hate, jealousy and pain, perfect love.
Hear, oh Israel, the LORD is our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and Prophets are explaining these two statements.