Sunday, July 6, 2008

The End of Genesis and the Beginning of a New Challenge...oh and a sweet game called whirly ball!

OK, So we wrapped up Genesis last night. For 8 weeks we studied how God created and it was "very good" but one thing was "not good" (man was alone...Authentic Community?) We looked at how after sin entered the picture, it really entered the picture. Unredeemable Violence, murder, rape, genocide, deceit, robbery, manipulation, etc. Even in the midst of that, we found God bringing hope and grace. When Adam and Eve should have died, they lived. When the whole world was to be wiped away by flood, Noah and his family lived. When the people rebelled and tried to reach the heavens on their own, God began a covenant promise with Abram (Abraham). This is relevant today. Even in the midst of our "stuff", God continues to meet us with hope and grace.

However, Genesis does not end well. You'd think the story would have some resolve, but it doesn't. The two leaders of the developing people, Jacob (Israel) and Joseph die in the last two chapters of Genesis, leaving the rest of the people to fend for themselves in Egypt, a foreign and unsafe land. 400 years later Exodus picks up the story with Moses...but can you imagine the people in between that span? Where is God? Is God good? Is God trustworthy? Does God love? Heavy questions...

So the ending is a bummer, you have to buy the sequel to find out how the story ends...or continues.

But we came back to Genesis 12:1-3 which I claimed and still do claim is the single most important passage of Scripture in the Old Testament. God promises to bless Abraham...SO THAT he can be a blessing and consequently bless all the nations of the world. This promise is inherited by Christ followers 3000 years later. We exist to be a blessing...especially as American Christians who have access to more resources than anyone else in the, here's the NEW CHALLENGE.

OPERATION BAAAAAH. (Read Matthew 25:31-46)

The Edge is going to attempt to accomplish the six fold initiative outlined for the Jesus Sheep in this passage. This might be the most excited I have been for anything in a while. Here's the initial brainstorming.

Phase One: "Clothe the naked"

We all have a buttload of clothing...(a buttload is not a precise measurement). Alot of what we own sits in our closet or in "wishful thinking bins" or in my case, Shaina apparently shrunk them and they are more snug than should be worn in public. The solution, everyone bring 15 clothing items to the church on Saturday to donate to Marian's Closet. These items are 1) not to be so used that they are stanky. 2)Not to be the most hideous bridesmaid dresses you've ever seen and 3) not to give you an excuse to go buy a ton of clothes to re-stock your closet. The purpose is to be a blessing. Its a really small effort, but it's a start, and a sacrificial start at that!

The other five phases are titled below. I'd love to hear your feedback on how to solve these important issues either on a local or global scale!

"Feed The Hungry"

"Give the Thirsty a Drink"

"Welcome the Stranger"

"Care for the Sick"

"Visit the Imprisoned"

Aww buddy! Lord, I can't wait to see how you work in our lives as we live out your calling!
*Please note that the image of the sheep does not suggest that we will in any way violently harm the hungry, thirsty, foreigner, sick or imprisoned. I am a peace lover and an advocate of non-violent activism, but the picture was funny. It's a vicious cycle.


Wood said...

buttload....never ceases to be funny, especially with my sure its ALOT...also, im waaaaaayyyy to intimate with the clothes I still think fit me...nice way to start the project.

Wood said...

P.S. big fan of bumpercars and stick hitting errr Whirlyball!

jwm574 said...

Ben, this sounds great! Looking forward to hearing what God does. See you soon.