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In the beginning ...

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

The book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, opens with one of the most famous sentences of any literary work: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” It’s where we find the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and the ark, Abraham and Isaac, and Joseph with his coat of many colors.

On its own, the book of Genesis reads like a string of epic stories: a semi-tragic saga of a world that just keeps going wrong, despite its Creator’s intentions. However, Genesis isn’t a stand-alone book. It is really all about setting the stage for the rest of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Hebrew scriptures), the prologue to Israel’s beginnings as a nation. Even more, it’s the story of the promises God made to humans; promises that God begins to carry out through the rest of the Bible.

In fact, if the main thrust of Genesis were summed up in one verse, it would be these words that God said to Abraham: “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your

God and the God of your descendants after you” (Genesis 17:7).

The semi-continuous lectionary readings this summer will move through the book of Genesis, with a focus on the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. We usually learn their stories as children in Sunday School, but oftentimes set those stories to the side as adults. So, rather than using the gospel readings from the lectionary as the basis for sermons this summer, I want us to re-examine these foundational stories for what they have to say about who we are, whose we are, and why we are here.

This series of sermons - an of sorts - began Sunday, June 4th. I hope you will join us! †

Pastor Becki


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