Showing posts from June, 2010

The Apple in the Garden - Genesis 3

I encourage you to read Genesis 3:1-18 along with your reading of this blog.  Find the NRSV translation of this passage here! We have begun our study with the pre-history in the book of Genesis.  We have looked at and heard the first creation account in chapter 1 – God is the creator of the universe; and the 2 nd creation account in which God creates humanity – man and woman together – and gives them community, environment which brings with it permission to use the garden to sustain life, a prohibition to avoid the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as the consequence will be the ending of life; and it brings with it the vocation of caring for the creation, of being co-creators, of taking responsibility. Today we focus on Chapter 3.  The cunning serpent suggests to Eve that there would be no consequences for disobeying God and that if she and Adam eat of the fruit then there will be no more need of God, for they can be like God themselves.  In other words, they cou

Reflecting the Image of God – Genesis 2-3

I encourage you to read through chapter 2 of Genesis along with your reading of this blog.  Find the NRSV translation of this passge  HERE Last week we began our look at the pre-history in Genesis with Chapter 1 – the 1st creation account. The focus of this beautiful poem is on God, who is the creator of the universe; God, who speaks and the world comes into being. Not only that, but we also see that this amazing God, who is the creator of all, is still involved with the creation. God has not moved on to other things, watching impassively from afar. Rather, God loves the creation so much that God continues to interact with it, to be present with it and to continue to actively create. God, creator is not a remote God who watches from a distance but rather a God who takes so much delight in the creation that He remains intimately involved with every aspect of creation. This week we focus on the 2nd creation story. These two stories of creation complement each other, like looki

Great Stories of the Bible: Genesis

Bringing Light from Darkness – Genesis 1 This weekend we begin our summer long look at the opening stories in the book of Genesis.  The book of Genesis is divided into two main sections: The Pre-History that is contained in chapters 1 through 11; and the Patriarchal/Matriarchal cycles from 12 through 50.  The Pre-History includes the two creation accounts; the story of the Fall; Cain and Abel; Noah and the Flood and the Tower of Babel.  The Patriarchal/Matriarchal cycles include the three primary cycles of stories: Abraham and Sarah (with Isaac and Rebecca); Jacob and Rachel; and Joseph.  We will probably not get through all of these this summer.  We begin with the Pre-History.  The book of Genesis was written during the Exile in Babylon and was based on centuries of oral tradition which purports to go all the way back to Moses.  The exile was a time when the faith and culture of Israel was at risk and it seemed as though the covenant with Yahweh was dead and that the god

Reflections on the St. Matthew Passion - by J.S. Bach

I am currently in Peoria performing the solo oboe / English Horn parts for the Peoria Bach Festival's performance (this Thursday and Friday) of The St. Matthew Passion by J.S. Bach.  This may very well be my last professional engagement as an oboist and what a way to go out.  This piece is HARD and very taxing.  But it is also very rewarding.  As a Lutheran Christian, who also happens to be a Pastor, there is no work that has the kind of beauty of both text and music as this work.  It is deeply moving and Bach's ability of weaving multiple layers together along with his mastery of word painting makes this piece a captivating piece indeed.  Below is a reflection I wrote on this piece back in April of 2008.  I had just attended a week long intensive study/discussion of this work in Houston and I arrived back on home on Maundy Thursday and was scheduled to preach on Good Friday.  The sermon was written in Houston in between sessions.  This reflection is based on that sermon. ****