1/3/2019 11:06:33 AM
In the Beginning | January 1-7
Pastor of Christian Education and Missions
GENESIS 1 + PSALM 1-2
I love to read. I love to start a new book, whether it’s a novel or a biography or even a textbook. It used to be that when I’d pick up a book, I wouldn’t be content until I’d finished it no matter what. Now, that’s not so much the case. I’ve found that there are some books that just aren’t worth my time to keep reading. I’ve found that I can usually tell within just a few pages now whether I’m going to keep reading or not.
The beginning of a work of literature is vitally important. I am certainly conscious of that as I write these words to you. In the space of the first few lines a gifted author will set the tone for the work while also introducing us to the major characters and themes which will follow. This is one of the hallmarks of great literature. While both Genesis and Psalms are certainly more than just great literature, they also do what great literature does.
Genesis begins not only by introducing the major characters of Scripture (God, of course, and mankind), but also by answering the biggest questions of philosophy: Who are we? Where did we come from? What is our purpose? Not only is it tremendously informative, God, through Moses, also does it in a way which is beautiful, almost poetic, in itself. We might not get all of our questions thoroughly answered in the first paragraphs. But we are immediately beckoned into hearing more. Our interest is piqued.
Similarly, Psalm 1 and 2 introduce us to the characters (if a collection of poems can have characters) who will play a major role in the book of Psalms as a whole: the wise and the foolish, those who submit to God’s reign, and those who rebel. They also introduce us to the choices to be made in this life and the consequences of those choices. How does one become blessed? How does one prosper? What happens to one who is wicked? Does God take notice of what mankind does? How does He feel about it? What will He do about it?
Just as a good writer carefully structures his beginning, so an attentive reader allows himself to be engaged by the author. Maybe you are sitting down for the first time with the intention of reading the Bible through. Maybe you have done it numerous times. Whatever you are beginning this year, we invite you to do it together with us in community. This blog is intended to keep us on (or at least near) the same page for this journey this year. We hope that by reading together we will encourage one another to experience the Word of God consistently this year. Each week, one of the Grace Chapel staff will contribute a blog like this. If you would like this emailed to you each week, click HERE. It will be a reflection inspired by one of the readings from this week’s read-through-the-Bible program section. If you would like a copy of the reading schedule, click HERE.
We invite you to explore, or re-explore, what God has communicated to us from the beginning.