In the beginning the great story is unfolded. There is “creation” and us, Formed from the dust of the earth in God’s Image. Eden is created and we live as stewards of all things on earth. Read the “we” because it is important to understand that God does not need us, He existed before what we call existence. Bishop Robert Barron writes: “But for Christians, God is not one being among many. He’s not a competitor to our flourishing. God is that than which nothing greater can be thought, the strange and unique source of being itself”. He is complete in and of Himself; everything that exists was created on His words. All things that we understand are contingent on His creation. Man was given the Garden to be fully alive; physically, sexually, mentally, socially in harmony. Think of the perfect day, the weather, your mate, the lion, the grizzly, the rainbow, the steelhead, the eagle, and the lamb; and, God walking with you, the adventures are endless. The place was cooler than the other side of the pillow! We were created to worship Him and with all of this why would we not love him back?
We chose “stupid”! And, the next 11 chapters of Genesis we read about just how ugly that decision turned out. But, the great story proceeds with how God begins to call us back, back to Him and to what we are all missing. That, which what existed in the Garden, to be fully alive! It begins in Genesis chapter 11 with Abraham and proceeds throughout the Old Testament to tell the story of how God would choose a nation of people and provide them “instructional design” on how to be the essence of that first breath we received on the sixth day of creation. More importantly, this nation would become so “fully alive” in the process, all nations would see their example and seek after God. Freedom is the discipline of the desire in order to achieve the “good” and therefore make it effortless. Ask anyone who desires to be excellent at his or her endeavor and they will tell you so!
The story is ancient, the times are ancient but the struggles of the human nature are no different than those of the 21st Century. Are the jealousies of Cain and Abel so altruistically different than what’s happening on the south side of Chicago today? As God is calling man, remember He is doing it in a time where the only thing households have are legends and stories told among each other.
He is calling them out of a world that’s in selfish chaos. So, the story begins