Back to the Beginning: A Closer Look at Genesis
January Adult Faith Formation Series
Sundays, January 6, 13, 20 & 27 • 11:20am • Wright Chapel
The first book in our library of sacred Christian texts is Genesis. Jesus would not have known it by this name. The Jewish people referred to the book by its first word, which means — in the beginning. The familiar title, Genesis, first appeared on copies of the fourth century Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called the Septuagint. Genesis means “source, origin.”
It is one of the most familiar and beloved books in the Christian Bible and contains the ancient stories that are the source of the three Abrahamic faith traditions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Genesis opens with two accounts of creation and continues with the story of God selecting an elderly couple named Abram and Sarai to leave their familiar surroundings and travel to a new land to become the spiritual ancestors of a worldwide family devoted to loving and serving one God who came to be known as Yahweh. The book is filled with honest and sometime sordid stories of family life and sibling rivalry, frustrated leaders and disobedient followers, and a God who would not leave them nor forsake them.
Fundamentalist Christians are convinced that Genesis is literally true and that it factually describes earth’s creation and the origin of human beings in the figures of Adam and Eve. Jews and most Christians read it very differently. In fact, the Jewish people, from whom the book arose, have never interpreted it literally or regarded it as scientifically accurate. Most Christians and Jews view Genesis as ancient history interpreted theologically. Millions of people, whether Christian, Jew or Muslim, have found inspiration, guidance and deep meaning for modern life in the ancient stories spread throughout the book’s fifty chapters.
LPC Pastor Jim Butler will explore these issues in a three-part Sunday morning series beginning January 6 and continuing on January 13 and 20. On Sunday, January 27, the story of Cain and Abel will be explored in a reader theatre play by the late K. G. Kasberg, adapted by Tim Tavcar, founder of WordStage. Tim, who sings in the LPC Chancel Choir, will serve as the narrator. Jim Butler will play Cain, Evan Levis will play Abel, Sara Lindberg will play Eve, and Tedd Roos will play Adam.