I’ve always been intrigued by the characters in Genesis. Adam and Eve, Abraham, God, Isaac, Ishmael, Hagar, Noah, and many others. The stories told with these characters are formative for three faith traditions. Their narratives are old, mythic, and generative. We turn to them, in part, to witness God, who is active, talkative, and apparent. Because the characters seem to reside so close to God, frequently acting on God’s direct verbal instruction, they can remain distant, hard to reach, and difficult to empathize with.
The old becomes new
Still, I don’t believe these primal characters in the Biblical narrative are that different from us. If we dare to listen to their tales of betrayal, jealousy, shame, anger, heroism, and pride, from a different perspective that allows them to have feeling, desire, and heartache, like us, their stories begin to sound like ours. At the edge of each of their stories is enough hope to satisfy us as we seek God.
Over the next four weeks we’ll explore four of these stories and the characters represented in each. The human emotional responses of shame, guilt, loneliness, and anger will each anchor one week.
There is no agenda I’m pushing or conclusion I expect to reach. Our only premeditated intention is to approach each of the characters we will encounter with an open posture because they aren’t as different as we are. Hopefully, the next four weeks will be full of surprises.
|May 18||Shame||Genesis 3:1–9||Adam & Eve|
|May 25||Regret||Genesis 6:1–8||God|
|June 1||Loneliness||Genesis 21:8–21||Hagar and Ishmael|
|June 8||Anger||Genesis 22:1–14||Abraham and Isaac|
See you in church.