I hope that your first full week of the New Year included your involvement in our 2020 Bible Project! If not, do not worry about it, but consider jumping in with us this next week. You pick up the reading/video-watching plan in the foyer, but the best way is to go to southwest.org where you can find it, and even sign up for weekly email.
If you did it, then you have watched two very helpful and orienting videos, and you read the first nine chapters of the book of Genesis.
As promised, my plan is to preach and teach in alignment with our Bible Project. That is to say, I will always be using something from your current week's assignment as my inspiration for the teachings in our weekly gatherings.
As I re-read the first chapters of the first book of the Bible, it occurred to me that in my preaching and teaching, I often refer back to them. No matter what I am teaching or explaining, just naturally in life or from the Bible, I find myself gravitating back to these initiating stories of our faith to explain.
Why is that?
I believe it is because the BEGINNING of the story always provides the BACKDROP of the story. Further, I believe the beginning of THIS story illustrates, briefly but powerfully, how God originally intended all things to be, and therefore, explains what He intends to restore as the story goes on.
Think about it, if we are indeed characters in a awesome story, with a part to play that will provide us purpose, passion, satisfaction and salvation, do we not need to know the backdrop of the story?
A friend explained this to me this week this way: If you were really excited about an old movie trilogy, like the Lord of the Rings, and you wanted to share it with someone, where would you start? You would start at the beginning! You would need the backdrop upon which the rest of the movies are built.
So as we begin today, let us take Genesis at it's word when it begins with the word, "In the beginning..."
And let us look closely, closer than we usually do, at how God originally designed things to be, and perhaps at what went wrong, so that we will forever know the backdrop upon which we can understand the rest of the story...