First Friday of Lent

Genesis 2:20–3:20, Proverbs 3:19–35, Isaiah 3:1–14

When telling a story it is often best to start at the beginning. Sometimes authors don’t for they feel it might ruin the tension of the story. Other times, the story does start at the beginning for the main , but that main is in the middle of a much bigger story which affects the main . All of us are in the midst of our life story. Our life story takes place among the myriad of life stories of . Genesis isn’t that way. It’s the beginning. We often become overly concerned of things beyond, “ made it.” We become concerned with how, when, how long, etc. did make it. That’s the answer. Genesis is and yet isn’t about Creation and ’s making of it. Really it’s about ’s story of and humankind. The first part of Genesis is more like setting the stage for what is to come…humankind.

’s story of humankind is one of . Even the naming of the creatures is relational (if you question that, think of how labeling s spoken can damage s). However, only made one human. made Adam out of , yet chose to make Eve out of Adam. This reinforces not just an emotional , but one to the depths of their bones.

didn’t just leave it at that. Based on Genesis 3:8, we can infer that regularly walked in the garden. Whether that was a poetic license or not, it means that there was an active and ongoing between and humankind. didn’t just create and go. stayed in . And yet, humankind allowed an individual other than to enter into their with , and humankind stepped away from with .

“founded the earth by wisdom,” and yet here is humankind walking (sometimes running away) from it. Sadly, there are many who themselves Christians who are doing it faster than those who don’t. And before you think it is over certain issues of the day, it is so much more than that, and so much deeper. Humankind cannot get along with itself. When we rely on human understanding and wisdom, we will always up short. In Proverbs, we read about maintaining sound wisdom and discretion. The soundness is based upon and a with . Imagine if all of humankind, including us, followed these well. What an amazing place we would live in.

The consequences of ignoring this -filled wisdom is loss. Isaiah talks about what is about to happen to Judah’s leaders, but read the list of those to be removed. In all likelihood, you can quickly start tying s and poions to the leaders ed out. While Isaiah quotes as saying, “I will,” if we are honest with ourselves, and about ourselves, cultures and country, we have done a pretty good job at placing unstable and immature people as leaders at many levels (local, county, state, al). Are we at the point where people don’t want to be leaders? Not yet, but at the rate we are turning on each other, it won’t be long.

1) Relationship is a core piece of Christian thought. In particular with . Many things can damage our with , especially habits which were once good, but are no longer. Can you think of anything that has been hampering or damaging your with ?

2) Why are we so quick to allow to interfere with our with ?

3) We are often quick to cast our political, religious, cultural, al rivals as fools or unstable. What does that tell us about ourselves?
FD) Have you ever wanted to create your own place? Would you create that place to be like a god, or for a different reason?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.