Ok, I hear you. Why, Josh, would you start a blog, begin to make it totally sweet, and then seemingly ditch it and leave us wanting more? Well, I don't have a good reason. Yeah, I got busy. But no more than you. Yeah, there was Christmas. But you did that too. So, let's make a pact: I'll try my best to update more regularly, and you do your best not to abandon our "Blogg-ER/Blog-EE" relationship. Every relationship has it's rough spots. But I feel like we've grown because of this. Phew! Now that I got that off my chest...
Here's what's been turning over and over in the washing machine of my mind for the past week: Genesis 1-3. No, not the first 3 CD's by the Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins fronted band of "I Can't Dance" fame. But, the first 3 chapters of the Bible.
Last week, in our Middle School ministry, I began to teach through the book of Genesis. I've wanted to do this, for some time, for a couple of different reasons:
1) A lot of people see Genesis as a fairytale book.
They tell the stories, but are completely detached from them. They tell it with as much connection to it as a dad tells his son about the time that a kid traded a cow for some beans, planted them, grew a big vine, climbed that sucker, and stole from a giant. This isn't a fairytale. This isn't a fantasy. This really happened. A long time ago, yes. But it really happened.
2) This is our history.
We study history in school to learn about the past, so we don't repeat it. We also study it to see how we got to where we are today. But, with history (at least the kind we study in Middle School and High School) the events are over. The ink is dry. The story is done. We're not going to have another Boston Tea Party or Winston-Salem Witch Hunt. We're done with the Spanish Inquisition. No more Vietnam. But, the events that are documented in the Bible still happen. Every day. Every. Single. Day. (I posted a little on this back here) This is so important to learn because it's where we were, but it's also where we are.
3) This is our present.
We still do this stuff. All the time. We haven't changed a bit. Here's the good news: neither has God. We screw up, he offers redemption. But sometimes, we concentrate too much on the salvation part of redemption. (Stay with me!) We think that the whole purpose of Christ's death was salvation. Yes, it was a big part of it, but not the whole of it. Christ's birth, life, and death were also about restoration. It was about God restoring things back to the way that he designed them to be. More on this in a bit.
4) We can see, starting this early on, how God set the stage for Christ's redeeming of humankind.
Yes, we can. As soon as we muck it up, God gets to work. Early on, we can see how he starts moving the chess pieces and setting up the board for the checkmate. Even through geneologies!
So, I taught. This past week we covered Genesis 1-3. Basically 3 stories: Creation, Creation of Adam and Eve, and what's typically called "The Fall". Maybe a more up-to-date title for this story would be: "Adam and Eve choose THEIR way over God's".
When I started preparing this message, I was interested, but not invested. Once I got to Genesis 3, that changed...
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our saga...