Making Loincloths

Gen 3: 1-4:26, Matthew 2:13-3:6, Psalm 2: 1-12, Proverbs 1:7-9

That didn’t take long.  Creation went from, “It was good” now to this, from beautiful to now seeing our shame, from God creating and our wanting to be like God.

And already, by the second day of our Year of the Bible and I am already a couple of days behind…  I blame the fall.  At least it is convenient.  And seriously, this is why I don’t like “the fall.”  Or better said, this is what I don’t like about what we have done with “the fall.”
On it’s own, it helps us make sense of our condition.  How we can’t help but want to elevate ourself at the expense of others…even God.  But what I don’t like is that we tend to easily Scapegoat what two characters did thousands of years ago.  If I am honest with myself, I too often stand at the same tree.

We see the worst case scenario of “The Fall” in our Matthew reading today.  And like the fall, if we are honest with ourselves, we have tendencies that  more with Herod than with following Jesus.  Not to this extreme of the slaughtering of innocents, but in how we like power and maintaining our status quo rather than seeking common good for those on the margins.  What would the world be like if we instead learned to follow better in Jesus footsteps rather than eating forbidden fruit or seeking our own advantages?  (In the same line of thought, consider how today’s Psalm fits ‘The fall.”)

And so we make loincloths and hide in our shame.  This second day of the year, may we instead be comfortable and thankful that we are made in God’s image.  Let’s work on this together.  See you again on our journey tomorrow.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob

A New Beginning

Day 1 Readings: Genesis 1:1-2:25, Matthew 1: 1-2:12, Psalm 1:1-6, Proverbs 1:1-6

Beginnings.  Happy New Year and the beginning of 2015.   What a good opportunity to join us for The Year of the Bible as we read through all 66 books throughout 2015.  And what better place to begin than the beginning.

Our story begins, “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”

And our story has a new beginning as Matthew opens, An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah…  Genealogy is also the Greek word for ‘genesis’.  Better understood, in Christ we have a new beginning.  This new beginning is connected with God’s creation from the start, of bringing order out of chaos.

May we be challenged to enter into our full story over the next year and experience that God from the beginning has been working out God’s purpose.  A purpose of establishing and then re-establishing us in relationship.  As we begin this new year, I cannot think of any resolution more important of working on this relationship.  I look forward to walking through this journey with you over the next twelve months.

 

Happy New Year,

Pastor Rob

Year of the Bible

Resolutions:

Be it resolved, this is the year for perfection.  As I strive this year to be the perfect husband and father, the model of fitness and health, all while perfectly managing my finances.  The images of what perfection looks like surround us with a world selling the message, “If only you have this—then you will find perfection,” only leading to greater disappointment and a diminished self esteem.  If only leads to feeling inadequate and not good enough.

For this year’s resolution, I would like to challenge us to consider trying a different messenger.  Not the messenger that is flooding our airwaves trying to sell us something, but a messenger that we just experienced new again this Christmas season.  One who enters our lives to say that you are already good enough as you are, made in the image of God.  As we will explore again soon this upcoming Lenten season, good enough even to die (and rise) for.  This messenger comes to us through the Word.  Rather than self-help, may we turn to God and one another through community seeking an improved life through transformation in Christ.

I declare 2015 as our Year of the Bible.  For those that wish to join, we will be reading through all 66 books over the next year.  This will be a chronological reading that includes each day a reading from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, and Proverb.  The goal is to read this and share together.  Just as we make new resolutions for working out, or weight loss, I encourage grace if you  happen to miss a day of reading. This is okay.  Do not try to make up missed readings or the challenge can be overwhelming.  Just as you wouldn’t run double if you missed a day working out, pick it back up with a new day based on that day’s readings.

If you want to join in, but the four readings seem too much in our busy lives, consider following along with the Old Testament, or New Testament, and make this a two year plan.  We will begin a new blog on our website for the year 2015 that shares a reflection based upon each day.  I look forward to joining you on this journey for a new year.  Happy New Year and happy reading.

Shalom,

Pastor Rob

January 2015 newsletter

January 2015 reading thru the Bible schedule