New Series "Plagues & Justice" Part 1: Genesis
How are you? No really, how are you? We're still in the middle of our COVID-19 quarantines and unfortunately there is no end in sight. So how are you?
There's no sense in lying to yourself about how you are because it's just you reading this - nobody will know any better. Maybe you are genuinely good. I hope you are! But stop and consider the past 4 months...
You have been cooped up in your house 99% of the time
You had to miss the end of a school year (for some of you it was a pivotal year/graduation)
You never really got to say "goodbye" or celebrate with your friends
You are on Zoom, Facetime, Google Hangout, or some form of video chat with people you love and care about
You may have had to miss out on a wedding of a friend, or been unable to mourn the loss of an elderly relative
You are in a constant state of wondering whether or not you have COVID-19 - which puts you in an awkward state of having to second guess who to be with, to what extent, and unfortunately it has caused us to sometimes shun our friends or family members in ways that can be seen as hurtful
Then on top of it all, the end of May and beginning of June came and we all had to watch the horrific events in South Minneapolis when George Floyd was murdered by a group of police officers. We've watched large portions of the world literally burn in response to these actions.
And the worst thing of all - there are masses of people and media who want us to believe that all of these things are political issues rather than human rights issues.
It feels really hard to be a healthy human right now - doesn't it?
Do you feel overwhelmed?
Or are you like me, and you can't quite put your finger on what's wrong, but you know deep down that something is definitely, desperately wrong with the world.
Plagues and Injustice.
These two things are as old as time.
When we open up our Bibles all the way back to Genesis we see a situation where God creates humans in God's image, and allows them the greatest capacity God can - God gives them the freedom to choose life or death. God allows them the freedom to choose God's way or their own way.
Most of us know the story. Genesis 2 is an old Hebrew tale about how we all used to be intimate with our creator. God used to walk in the cool of the day in a garden with us. Deep down we know what it feels like to be intimate with God. To spend time with God. To be at rest with God. To be at peace with God and the world. Genesis 1 and 2 describe a situation where humans could be at peace with God, with people, and with all of creation.
Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
So it makes sense that in Genesis 3, when the Biblical authors describe "The Fall" of humanity, they are describing a disconnect between us and God, between us and the world, between us and other people. So if you feel like "this can't be the way it is supposed to be." You're right - this isn't the way it is supposed to be.
We humans chose to do our own thing - not caring about the consequences - and we still have a tendency to do things our own way and not care about the consequences.
But the consequences are real.
Plagues. Disease. Sickness. Call it what you will. It's not the way things are supposed to be. We're not supposed to live in a world where disease is rampant. Yet here we are. As of this moment, over 600,000 people have died from Covid-19. Wow! And we're not even close to out of the water on this particular plague. Friends, this is not the way it's supposed to be.
As of today 600,000 people have died from Covid-19
And it's not just Covid-19. There are endless diseases alive in the world - so many people fall ill and die from something - this is the way it's always been...but it's also not the way it's supposed to be.
And we've all watched the senseless injustices that happen day to day. Mindless killings of innocent people. It's been happening for millennia. George Floyd's death is a stark reminder of the injustice that is all around us. Things are not the way they're supposed to be.
And if you feel that in your bones, then you are alive to the tension of life in a broken world. As you read your Bibles, be aware of this tension.
The Biblical authors begin the Bible with this tension...
Things are not the way they are supposed to be.
That should cause you to ask a question: What is God going to do about this mess? The Bible tackles that question not with a direct answer, but with a story. And it's a story we're going to dig into several times a week over the upcoming weeks...
What is God going to do about the mess of the world and the mess of each of our lives?
You might think the simple answer is "Jesus."And in a sense you'd be right, but I think the Bible is a lot more provocative than that. And actually, I think the Bible is telling us a story that encapsulates you and me into the solution in ways that are surprising and shocking.
So - lets' journey together - talk about what the Bible says in relation to brokenness in our world and in our lives, and see the ways God has directly provided solutions each of us is called to live into today.
Excited to journey with you!