At the heart of the Gospel is the stunning realization that God is creating a new worldwide family through Jesus. The First Testament is the story of Israel – the Family of Abraham. God launches his project to restore the world by making Abraham a big promise. “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. . . . I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.” Since their inception, the nation of Israel knew that they were God’s family.
This is the story that Jesus was born into – the long, winding, up-and-down story of Israel. Then surprisingly, shockingly, Jesus fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham by giving up his life for the life of the world. Israel’s story became everyone’s story. All people are now invited to join God’s family, and the boundary lines that formerly ordered society – nationality, language, economic status, gender – are now superseded by membership in the family of God.
This means the Story of the Bible is the story we’ve all been adopted into. It’s our Family Story.
This beautiful reality is why we at the Institute for Bible Reading believe everyone should be welcomed to the table to feast together on the Word of God. And we intentionally crafted Immerse: The Bible Reading Experience to allow for that.
We were thrilled to hear how Bethesda Community Church used Immerse to create unity between their Spanish and English congregations (watch video story). They used the Family Guide to invite families with young children to read and discuss together. They (and others) have used the custom Immerse Audio edition for those who struggle to read or simply prefer to listen.
We realize there’s still a long way to go: more languages, more resources, and more adaptability for every kind of context. But our vision is for everyone to have the tools to read big, read real, and read together. This vision for God’s new family to go deep into God’s Word is already beginning to happen.
The Kingdom of God is brown, white, black, young, old, educated, uneducated, healthy, disabled, rich, poor, and everything in between. We speak a multitude of languages. But we are united in Christ. What a beautiful gift it is to come together and feast on our Story.