When I moved up to McVille, I was warned that there was a strong core group of people who value their weekly Bible study. The past couple months have been focused on reading our way through the book of Genesis. It is a long book (50 chapters), but it has been fascinating to take our time and read it together. We read the stories and share whatever thoughts or reflections we’ve had about the text, the locations or the history.
We are to the story of Jacob (he has just fled for his life and has ended up at his uncle Laban’s where he just met Rachel). We read about the fallout that Jacob and Esau had, and how their parents Isaac and Rebekah had picked their favorites from those twins. Taking the time to read the stories is enough to try patience at times, but is worth it. Some stories are easier to connect with than others. With the recent story of Jacob and Esau, the people who show up are unsettled to read how two brothers act around each other, but even more shocking is how the parents act. Each person reading the story finds something that fascinates or appalls.
Everyone one of us enters into the story of Genesis because we have different understandings of what life looks like, of how people ought to behave, of what we expect God to say and do. But when we read Genesis, we find that people are just people. We may want to disconnect ourselves since they lived in a very different time/place, but in reality they are much like us today. They are not perfect (far from it, as a matter of fact). We cannot shy away from the fact that we’ve read stories of murder, incest, lies and deceit. Each character in Genesis has tough lessons learned through constant mistakes. People are tested and usually fall short. But God is a God of promise who is faithful to the people he chose to create and bless.
We are taking next week off, but we will be resuming Jan 4 with Genesis 29:15. If you can’t get to McVille at 9 am, at least you know where we are in the story of a broken people who find that God is faithful.