I guess you should always start at the beginning…..
I was reading the Genesis story, I especially like in Genesis :1- “God created human beings God like, reflecting God’s nature.” … “lets make them in our image, make them reflecting our nature.” ….its such a beautiful story. Then in one verse, we go from being God like… to the whole, “The Fall” thing, being tempted by a serpent, and putting a tree there, tempting us at the start? That’s sounds like a something a immature human would do, setting your kids up to fail? Don’t we at least always try to give the kids a leg up, a head start, better than we had it, that kind of thing. I would hope that God is better than us, bigger than we are, new words need created to explain the love he has for us.
I got thinking this doesn’t sound like God. The God that created everything, every star,every black hole, every animal and plant– everything– the totality, no it sounded like Mad Daddy. The Dad you get when his day was bad. You know the one, you get when the boss yells at him, the traffic sucks, and the bill for the first set of braces comes in as the company is talking layoffs?
That Dad, but God , not my God, my God is loving and light, and Joy, full of wonder, I mean look at it all, the totality of all the known universe. Beautiful.
That part of Genesis sounds like, well it sounds like a child trying to make sense of the world, how it was made, why there was pain and suffering in the world. Sooooo Dad must be mad at us because look how horrible the world is, look how we toil in the fields, and anybody who has seen a child be born, let alone back in the day without drugs of any kind, knows the pain. We all know pain don’t we? So God must be mad at us , hell he is downright pissed off at us, right. Or maybe, it’s how primitive man was trying to understand his world. Remember Genesis was written when the earth was flat, God lived right above the clouds, your neighbors might very well kill you for being different, I guess it not so much different from today, and hold that thought.
I think that many of the problems in the world stem from this thought of separation . If you think God separated himself from us, humans, right there in the first book of the Bible, well then its ok to be separate from everyone else. The Muslims, the Jews, your neighbors, other Christians that don’t think the same way you do, the fat lady down the block, their all fair game- because God is separate from you , or at least separated himself from some of “them.”
But I disagree, God made us in his image, he was well pleased, he breathed life into us. Jesus says in John 10:34, referencing Psalm 82:6, “you too are Gods, did not my father say so.” Jesus also said ,you can do all I can and more, say to the mountain move and it will move.
You are loved Children of God, maybe a better way to think of it is as loved creations of God, when you start saying children then you get to God being the father again, see Mad Dad above. To me a very important distinction to make, here and now.
In the talk I also get into progression of the Bible, its a story written of its time and place, by people, for people of their time, trying to make sense of it all. Its a tribal story to some degree, and feeds into our our need to label everything. The beauty of the story is the thread of God that permeates the whole thing, that pulls the story forward, that’s always pulling the story forward! I believe we are incomplete so far, we don’t have it all put together yet, not by a long shot. A lot of stuff in the beginning of the recorded message comes direct from Rob Bell blog, he is a great Christian author and thinker, and sometimes its best to let the pro’s do the heavy lifting. The talk ends with my personal spin on it.
We don’t have it right, 2100 years after Christ death, and we can’t ever get along with other Christians, let alone people of other faiths. I feel compelled to move the story forward in my own small way. I know ” If you do what you always done … you get what you always got.” That’s not good enough anymore, take a listen, help me move the story forward.
The sermon from 6-22-2014, for those of you following along.