We step into God’s Story, beginning with the beginning and imagining the end. As we chart the Creator’s work from Genesis to Revelation, we see images of God’s intent for the renewal of our world and lives.
In Jordan’s sermon, adapted from a message by Rob Bell, he points to the trouble with jumping straight to the problem of sin as introduced in Genesis 3. When we pass over “God saw that it was good,” we’re left with a story chiefly about sin and a God who exists only to solve it. This morning's message is on reminding us to begin with "the beginning," God made all things good.
This morning we pick right back up in Genesis 3, continuing to talk about the fall and how the fracturing fault of sin distorts what God created as good. And yet, what we know to be true, is this is not the end of the Story. We're introduced to an old church liturgy that says, "O happy fault, that earned for us so glorious a Redeemer. Fortunate Fall, that gained for us so great a Redeemer!"
We continue the conversation around love and sin this morning. Jordan shares with us a thought from George Herbert—"There are two vast, spacious things: sin and love." These two forces, while not equals, exist in a zero-sum tension. Where one grows, the other recedes. If one flourishes, the other subsides.
We continue in the Genesis story this week, and we're reminded that Sin grows systemically: beginning with one person, then a couple, a family, generations, communities, society, and ultimately the entire system. The cycle of sin and myth of redemptive violence is present in our story, but we believe Christ calls us to reverse the cycle through forgiveness.
Welcome to The Parish. This morning‘s gathering is a bit different, as we explore a pattern we all tend to experience in our spiritual journeys: seasons of orientation, disorientation, and re-orientation. To make room to enter these three realities, we broke this morning's gathering up into three separate movements. On the podcast today, you’ll hear elements of each movement, one right after each other. It may be a bit choppy, but you’ll get the idea. We hope you’ll notice God coming to you and whichever stage of the spiritual journey you find yourself.
This past Sunday, Jordan took us through the Exodus story, noting that God hears the cries of trying times and He responds. In our own stories, we often want instant gratification, immediate transformation, a quick solution, but God has a purpose and plan, seeking our patience, cooperation and discernment to understand what He is up to.
This morning Parishioner John Ott challenges our assumptions around the idea of obedience; recognizing that obedience is fundamental to the Christian path, but, it is more about the location of it in the sense that obedience is located in-between the practice of remembrance and God’s abundance. Obedience is therefore not a formulaic and shamed based response, but rather something we do out of overflow in our remembrance of God’s faithfulness in the past and our hope in God’s presence in the future.