Christopher Wright's The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible's Grand Narrative weighs about the same as a small cat, but it's as thorough an exploration of the Bible's witness as I've found. It was sent to me by a friend whose heart is immersed in discovering (and preaching) God's love for the world, and I'm grateful he shared this treasure with me. What Wright sets out to do, and achieves, in my opinion, is to explore the Biblical witness to God's primary purpose: reaching out to the whole world, so that all of creation might glorify him. It's a task of titanic proportions, but what a grand book. Wright sees the Israelites and the early church as part of God's singular task--reaching out to the world. God loves creation and loves each child in it, and the hope is that each of us will find our true voice and glorify God. Nothing short of that is the goal, and our role within it is to let God speak in us and through us, that our life may be joined in with what God is doing in the world.
I thought about trying to summarize Wright's point, but I think he does so pretty well in the video below. God's mission involves the whole world--and the whole Bible is a witness to that. One point that he makes that I think is worth highlighting is this: If God's people abandon their ethical distinctiveness by forgetfulness, idolatry or disobedience, then no only do they jeopardize their own well being, they also frustrate the broader purposes of the God who brought them into existence by his electing love and brought them out of bondage by his redeeming power. In other words, our sin prevents the mission of God from taking full root in our lives. When we sin, we opt out of God's mission and let other purposes work in and through us. By choosing to live as a Christian and turning from sin, our lives can then be clear channels of God's grace and peace, so that they can flow through us to others.
The consequences of each of our lives takes on grand importance when viewed through Wright's lens. Each of us has a role to play in God's mission--we join in with God's work and participate in God's mission to the world. Each of our lives is an opportunity to witness to God's mission, to let God work through us, to let Christ's light shine. God blessed Abraham so that Abraham would be a blessing to the nations, so that other nations would come to know & glorify God. You and I are blessed for the same singular purpose--so that the world may know Jesus Christ as Lord of all.