June 8, 2022
Reflections – The Story
This week’s Reflection summarizes the story of God and His relationship to man. I have boiled it down to ten “bullet points” and hope they can be of use for both the reader’s learning and for sharing with others. This is a story of creation, separation, and a joyful reconciliation. It includes the concepts of Justice (We get what we deserve.), Mercy (We don’t get what we deserve.), and Grace (We get what we don’t deserve.). Along the way, we find forgiveness, unity, and eternal life.
Blessings and peace,
- In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1-2)
- Then God created man, Adam, and gave him a helper, Eve. He related to them with a maximum of love and a minimum of law. Initially, this was a world that was “right side up”. It stands in contrast to much of today’s world that seems to be “upside-down” (Genesis 3).
- The couple broke God’s one commandment (eating the forbidden fruit) and hid in shame in the bushes. This was the first recorded act of human initiative (Genesis 3).
- God expelled them from the garden, thereby taking away their access to the Tree of Life and condemning them to a life of toil and difficulty (Genesis 3).
- Sin continued to exhibit itself in Adam and Eve’s offspring (Genesis 4 and following). Think of Cain and Abel, Noah and the Tower of Babel. This resulted in a world where even today “life seems out of whack”. (…all have sinned and come short of the glory of God…” (Romans 3:23)).
- The rest of the Old Testament relates God’s interaction with man (the Israelites) via Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, judges, kings, prophets, etc. Additional commandments (beginning with ten) are handed down.
- God becomes incarnate in the form of Jesus Christ. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14) Much of the New Testament tells of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Note that death on the cross was not the end of the story. (Matthew–Acts 1:9)
- The Holy Spirit was present at creation, empowered the Old Testament leaders, inspired the Old Testament prophets, and came in an even fuller, final sense at Pentecost when the power of God was further unleashed among men. (Acts 2). It might be said that Jesus ascended so that the Holy Spirit could descend. We now live in “the age of the Holy Spirit” and that age will last until Jesus returns at the end of time.
- Man is now called to believe in Jesus as the Son of God, to turn away from sin (Acts 2:38 and similar passages) and to live a life of love and good deeds.
- Finally, there will be a return to the Tree of Life upon Jesus’ coming at the end of time. (Revelation 2:7)
Disclaimer statement: Please note that the opinions expressed herein are those of the Chaplain alone and are based on his personal understanding of scripture and how God works in our lives.
Read more Reflections: Chaplain’s Corner