The Story of God and God’s People: Extreme Outline Edition

I received something of a challenge today.  A friend asked, “If you were going to give 22 single verses from Genesis to Revelations to try to capture the story of faith, what would you choose?”  

It was hard.  REALLY HARD.  I tried not to overthink it because I would tinker with my choices for weeks and never be happy with it.  I’m already not happy with it.  Also some of my choices are different because it was to be a single verse, not a sentence or thought or story… and that was a challenging restriction for me.  But it was also an interesting personal journey just to come up with the list (it took me about an hour) and I’d invite you to do the same.  Here is my list, but before you read it – make your list.  What would include?  

Genesis 1:3                  Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Genesis 4:9                 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 9:11                I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

Exodus 3:14                God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”

Leviticus 19:34            The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Deut 6:4                      Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.

Psalm 22:1                   My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

Psalm 23:1                   The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Ruth 1:19                    But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

Isaiah 58:6                   Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? 

Jeremiah 6:14              They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.

Luke 2:10                    But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:

Mark 1:35                    In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.

Luke 4:18                    “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free

Matthew 6:12              And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Mark 7:28                   But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

Luke 10:36                  Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”

John 20:27                   Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.”

Acts 2:4                       All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Galatians 2:20             And it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

1 John 4:16                  So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

Revelation 21:3           And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them;

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About Andrew Kukla

I am the proud father of four wonderful children, loving husband to Caroline, brother to three mostly wonderful sisters, and son of two parents that gifted me with a foundation of love and freedom. I also am a Presbyterian pastor and former philosophy major with a love of too many words (written with many grammatical errors and parenthetic thoughts), Soren Kierkegaard, and reflections on living a life of discipleship that is open to all the challenges, ups and downs, brokenness and grace, of a chaotic and wonderful life founded upon the love of God for all of creation.

Posted on August 20, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m sharing a response from a friend of a friend, this is put together by Rob Warren and I love it – clearly far more the poet than me,

    “In the beginning…(John)
    Moses said let my people…
    Pharaoh’s heart was hardened…
    40 years in the wilderness…
    …into the promised land… (5)

    In the beginning… (John)
    When Jesus came up from the water…
    Love thy neighbor…
    Feed my sheep…
    I am the way/gate (10)

    … betray me with a kiss…
    Truly this man was…
    …the women found the tomb empty…
    …they recognized him (in the meal)
    Do this in remembrance of me (15)

    The Spirit came upon them… (Pentecost)
    … neither Jew nor Greek, slave or free..
    …God shows no partiality…
    The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not…
    The shepherds returned praising…. (20)

    In the beginning…
    … for God so loved the world… (22)

  2. Also, have to add an additional 5 to be more true to my own journey of faith in scripture:

    Daniel 12:9 He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are to remain secret and sealed until the time of the end.” (This verse hardly does justice to Daniel’s place for me in the role of discipleship in the life of faith but given a single verse limit it stands in for the totality of that voice.)

    Matthew 5:1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him.

    Luke 9:58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

    John 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

    Ephesians 4:12 To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.

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