In God’s Likeness

I recently taught on the dangers and harms of judging others, speaking against each other, and elevating ourselves above other people based on James 4:11-17 at a worship gathering of my church community. As I read through that passage, and then through the whole book of James, another story came to mind. A story most of us have heard and believe we know well—so well we don’t often pay close attention to anything new in it.

I’ve been writing on that story here in bits and pieces, about Yahweh and Eve and Adam and Abel and Cain and about fear and shame and purpose and the patterns set and carried out through history. But I’ve been talking about the story instead of telling it. I told the story at that worship gathering, and now I’m sharing it here.

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Fruit

I’ve taken something of a break for the last couple months from writing. I’ve had my reasons, my challenges from carving out the time. Something similar happens when we as the church read our Bible. The passages I explored this Spring about Creation and the Fall, Yahweh and Adam and Eve get a lot of attention. Then there’s something of a break. We have our reasons, our challenges around noticing the shape of the literature we call Scripture.

I get it though. Sustained attention is hard. We break after the story of Adam and Eve, and then we go on to more familiar stories or the ones that seem more useful. Give us some Romans, so we know what to do with it. Stories are entertaining, but some nice, dense teaching is what gives us something to do, right?

So we leave the stories for the kids. Isn’t that right? When was the last time you heard a sermon on Cain and Abel, or Noah, or Samson (and why are we telling these stories about murder, the death of nearly every person in the world in one shot, and seduction and mass violence to children, by the way?)?

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The Story of Life: A Beginning

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

It’s the most simply elegant opening I can think of for what is any but a simple book. Or rather, anthology of written works of a whole spectrum of genres and complexity levels and audiences and languages and cultures and time periods.

This history is about God and creation. About all people and life and presence. About words and light and life from God, about God, being God.

Light and life and presence. Intertwined motifs that cannot be overlooked. They remain throughout the Bible, and sometimes we hear more of one or more of another, but everything is about these things in one way or another. 

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New Has Come

I want to talk about something I have become more and more passionate about over the years. Even more recently, I’ve had conversations with different people where it was relevant and even necessary for their ability to recognize a way to move forward in their lives and find Jesus present with them. I could describe […]

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