What we see in Scripture—in books like Job, John, and Genesis—is that when God’s Story began, things were different. At the end of the beginning, the image we have is that of two people, standing naked, completely open, completely known, and yet completely unashamed. This is about far more than just a lack of clothing. It is about a kind of living that allows others to see us for who we are, without judgment or fear.
A writer named Paul speaks in the New Testament of how this existence has been fractured. In poetic terms, Paul comes back to the theme of naked unhidden community. As of now, he says, we know God and other people only in part. As of now, there are parts of us we hide. There are parts we fake. And there are parts we don’t even understand ourselves. We hurt those we care about. We lower our gaze to avoid the eyes of a stranger. Our loves are real but fractured, and we feel it in our bones. Things are not as they ought to be. We know in part. Why is this? Why are even beautiful things now broken? That is a subject for another time. For now, though, Paul wants to reassure us that a day is coming when creation-style community will make a roaring comeback. This fractured world will be restored. And the result of this will be a kind of naked, unashamed knowing that we can only dream about. We will know in full, even as we are fully known (see 1 Corinthians 13:12). Community will rally.
As Christians we believe this, in part, because our story does not begin with conflict. Conflict may lie at the heart of other theories on creation. It may be the reason why Sugar Momma had to die. But our story is different. Our plotline emerges from and for loving relationships. We come from and for communion.
This video and article are an except from Long Story Short: The Bible in Six Simple Movements by Josh McNall. The study is perfect for: 1) Newcomers classes 2) College or Young Adult Ministry 3) Home groups 4) Neighborhood Bible studies 5) Sunday School. As you walk through this book, you will: Learn the big story of Scripture as a seamless whole; engage with a highly readable book; be challenged to think about familiar stories of the Bible in fresh ways. | “Joshua McNall in his engaging and witty little book Long Story Short, can help you understand the storied world in and of the Bible, and perhaps more importantly help you understand how actually you are in the story, and you must embrace it as yours.” (Dr. Ben Witherington III) Get the book + DVD or streaming from our store here.