There is only one story. This is the assumption of the authors of the Bible, and the Author of the Bible. This is not a new discovery, or even a remarkable one. Lately it has been remarkable to me.
In my theological education (for which I feel nothing but gratitude and indebtedness) this was not emphasized as a formal part of studying the Bible. It was assumed. But we cannot merely assume the grand truth that all of history is literally an epic, not anymore.
Tragedy and sin cause us to doubt the existence or validity of a grand narrative for history. Better- tragedy and sin give plausibility to Satan’s lie that stuff just happens.
Why do we need to pedantically assert the grand purpose of God in all of life? Because it is our only hope. Note Paul’s language in Eph. 1:11,
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will…”
The assurance of our future inheritance of salvation’s benefits rests not only on God pre-destining it, but on the fact the he has a purpose and works all things according to that purpose. One story.
So I say let time march on. While we acknowledge the difficulty on living in a world broken and tainted by sin, let us look to the future. Every minute that passes brings us one minute closer to the conclusion of the story. It is only at the end where God’s purpose will be completed, and only then will we understand how all the parts of the story fit together.
When it comes to our parts, we need to consciously, verbally remind ourselves that everything around us is part of the story. I have faith in the Author.