June 2017 Newsletter
Learning from the Tribes of Genesis
After celebrating Pentecost and Trinity Sundays, for the
summer we will be focusing sermons and worship on the Matriarch and Patriarch stories of Genesis. Genesis came up in the regular lectionary. I noticed in the Sunday School room that at some point the adult class used a video series on Genesis, so I look forward to watching those videos myself for refresher. These stories continue to be contemporary, because the issues- of family life, relationships, and commitment- are so perennial.
I learned in seminary- and this makes sense to me- that these stories developed over several hundred years, maybe thousands, as several nomadic tribes used venerating of their founding fathers and mothers to explain the origins of places and names, conflicts and treaties between different people groups, and deeply held values. The most deeply held value was their shared commitment to serve and worship Yahweh God only. Monotheistic religion evolved from its ancient Egyptian and Assyrian roots and tribalist gods to stand over against nature worship- the veneration of Ba’al and Astarte, with its perverse and unhealthy sexual practices and undependable reverence for ‘deities’ less than the One True God.
By telling and re-telling these stories around campfires they coalesced deep values placed on Love, Honor, and Respect. The stories of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebeccah, Jacob, Leah and Rachel, and Joseph, became the basis for the foundation of a people whose identity survives to this day.
(To view or download the entire June newsletter, click HERE)