In the beginning…

imagesA few years ago, following a plan laid out in a book called The Year of the Bible, I read through the Bible. ‘Bout time, you might say.

It was instructive and revealing, but one of the things I learned, well actually “relearned,” was that each time you read texts, even familiar ones, some new understanding is apt to emerge.

So it makes sense to read it again, and see what new new understandings might emerge.

One of the dangers, of course, is that what I read will only reinforce what I already believe. To be up-front, then, I come to this with a hermeneutic of grace, of God’s sovereignty and providence.

And, to keep myself honest, I’m going to journal through this. We’ll see how it goes, and I invite you to go with me. Challenge me, push me as you will, but no attacks, please. (Or ignore if this seems self-indulgent, and it may well be.)

So today, I began, this time using a plan contained in OliveTree’s Bible app. The readings are Genesis 1:1-2:25 and Luke 1:1-1:80.

I was struck again with what is a paean to God’s creation of everything. There was nothing until God created it.

And what God created first was the earth and everything in it. Humans were created last. While Gen. 1:28 talks about God giving humans dominion, verse 27 also says humans were made in God’s image, and God is a creator, not a devourer. Wouldn’t it be reasonable to conclude, then, that humans are to create, not devour? That being given dominion over God’s creation means to take care and create, not to use it up and devour it?

In other words, environmentalism is biblically-based. I’ll leave it at that for now for Genesis today, although there’s much more, of course.

In Luke, we learn of John the Baptist’s birth and the visit of the angel Gabriel to Mary.

Again, the story is one of God’s sovereignty, isn’t it? Yes, if you’re so inclined, you can scoff and say it reads like stories made up by some women to disguise bad behavior. I do not choose to view it that way, not that I insist that it has to be taken literally either.

In many ways, though, that is the key to my entire understanding: “I do not choose to view it that way.”

Which then suggests the question: Why do you choose to view it that way? That is the essence of faith, and worth exploring further.

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