Archive for the ‘Genesis’ Category

An anti-annunciation story

December 13th, 2017 by Maureen

[Hagar] said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” Gen.16:13

Hagar has just gotten news from an angel of God that was the opposite of Mary’s and Elizabeth’s. “Your kid is going to be in constant conflict with the people around him.” Yikes. Hagar herself is feeling her way through a messy situation that she didn’t exactly initiate but in which she chooses to be complicit. But at that moment, she sees God and knows that He sees her. That experience is so amazing that her response is all about the messenger, and not so much about the message. Perhaps the choice to keep that focus rather than trying to manipulate the circumstances could have changed history. (Hagar is the mother of Ishmael who is traditionally considered father of the Arab race who would be in conflict with the Jews who descend from Isaac).

In the Christmas annunciation story Mary says and does all the right things. Hager generally botches the challenge she faces, and presumably God who sees past, present and future already knows her part in the devastating fallout from this situation; yet Hagar matters so much to God that He shows up to comfort and encourage her. God’s love for us is far greater than the biggest mess any of us can make.

Even when I don’t understand and I’m doing everything wrong, I am so glad You see me and let me see You.

Creative naming

August 8th, 2017 by Maureen

God formed every creature on earth and brought them to the man to see what what he would name them. Gen 2:19

God invited humans into His creation process. Naming something requires use of creativity and imagination. Naming something adds to language. Naming assigns description, meaning, and context to the word we use to name something. Sensory associations like shapes, colors, sounds, and smells become attached to the word we use to name something. We participate in God’s creativity as we use our experiences with these named things to create art, to convey metaphoric meaning, and to make other useful and beautiful items that we also name.

Naming can elevate and individuate so that the full force of God’s creative energy, love, and delight is expressed. Naming a child provides one of the earliest markers of identity. Naming an animal tends to cause us to form emotional attachments and assign greater importance to that specific animal. If naming makes something important, then when we label and categorize in order to depersonalize and devalue or when we use words that already have negative connotations to name something, or someone, we are unnaming them.

Lord, inspire me to name things and to associate thoughts with those names that express how much You love and value all You have made.

Not independent, interdependent

July 3rd, 2016 by Maureen

It is not good for he man to be alone. Gen. 2:18  So we, the many, are one body in Christ, and members, each one, of one another, having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us. Rom. 12:5-6 Father, make them one as We are One. John 17:22

Life in Christ involves belonging. Early in Genesis the idea is introduced that even though Adam has relationship with God he also needs another human being in order not to be “alone.” God exists in Trinity with three members who are members of one another. This was the image he stamped on the first human relationship He created. This is the image He stamped on the body of Christ we call the universal church and on the individual communities we call the local congregation. We belong to each other and with each other. We need to regularly experience and contribute love, grace, wisdom, energy, and goodwill in the context of membership in a tangible group of people, our body, our church. We are not independent we are interdependent. We need each other and we need to belong.

Lord, help us to discover what means to belong as members of one body just as You, Father, Son, and Spirit, are members of One.

Happy hot fall

September 23rd, 2015 by Maureen

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” Gen 8:22

In Texas while people in other parts of the country post pictures of changing leaves and put on light jackets, a high of 97 is predicted for the first day of fall. Sometimes seasons don’t change when we are ready for them to change. Some things take longer than expected. Just as we know it will eventually get a little cooler in Texas, we can also be assured that seasons will change in our lives too. We can choose to suffer, to tolerate, or to actually enjoy the sameness until things change. We get to choose our attitudes. God will meet us whatever we choose, but why to choose joy?

Lord, if I’m honest, I’m ready for some cool weather but I’m open for You to show me delights in this hot day.

It is finished and it is good

May 13th, 2014 by Maureen

On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. Gen. 2:2

Even God rested. God doesn’t get tired, but we do. God doesn’t deplete his resources. We can. The literal translation of “rest” is “ceased from all His work which He had made.” Basically it’s another case of God saying “It is finished.” He stopped to enjoy what He had made. It’s a good idea to stop periodically to celebrate mile markers and completed projects to say “it is good.”

Lord, I thank You for the work You’ve given me to do and the fruits of those labors.

An anti-annunciation story

December 30th, 2013 by Maureen

[Hagar] said, “You are the God who sees me.” She also said, “Have I truly seen the One who sees me?” Gen.16:13

Hagar had just gotten news from the angel of God that was the opposite of Mary’s and Elizabeth’s. “Your kid is going to be in constant conflict with the people around him.” Yikes. Hagar herself was feeling her way through a situation she didn’t initiate… and not very well. But at that moment, she saw God and knew that He saw her. That experience was so amazing that her response was all about the messenger, and not so much about the message.

Even when I don’t understand and I’m doing everything wrong, I am so glad You see me and let me see You.


Flat head

December 20th, 2012 by Maureen

And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. Gen. 3:15

The unspeakable evil that strikes the human race is a result of the hostility the serpent has for us and for God. There is one, singular being, Jesus, who is equipped to counter this evil and crush the serpent’s head. The hope and joy of Christmas is that, because He loves us, the Messiah came to flatten the evil that strikes at our heels.

Lord, I am so grateful to be safe in Your care.

Rest in your is-ness

September 2nd, 2012 by Maureen

And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation. Gen. 2:3

Though He never tires even God, The Great IAM, stopped doing and simply communed with the beings He created. Even though our work is not finished, all of us need a rest from our doing to simply be in the presence of God in Whom we live and move and have our being.

Lord, help me to stop doing and commune with You in my is-ness rather than my doing.

Negative space is positively beautiful

March 3rd, 2012 by Maureen

Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” Gen. 1:6

God created space between the things He designed. The first thing I notice when I walk into a room is the negative space. Is there breathing room or clutter? In design, negative space allows us to see and enjoy the beauty and function of what is there in the positive space. Creating margin and paring down is not just about what we edit out, it’s also about how we arrange what we leave in.

Designer of All, the spaces in my life are Yours to edit and fill.

Forty days

February 22nd, 2012 by Maureen

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted there by the devil. For forty days and forty nights he fasted and became very hungry. Matt. 4:1-2

  • Noah spent forty days in the ark before the rainbow appeared. Gen. 7:12
  • Moses spent forty days on the mountain with God before delivering God’s message. Ex. 24:18
  • Goliath mocked the Israelites for forty days before God used David to turn the tables. I Sam. 17:16
  • Elijah spent forty days on the road looking for direction from God and God provided it. Deut. 9:9
  • Jonah issued God’s forty-day challenge to repent and Ninevah and they came through. Jon. 3:4
  • After His crucifixion Jesus spent forty days with the disciples getting them ready to advance His kingdom without His physical presence. Acts. 1:3

Lord, I don’t want Lent to be a religious observance but a time to seek, repent, sacrifice and prepare for whatever You want to do next.

Yes He can

November 12th, 2010 by Maureen

Is anything too hard for the Lord? Gen. 18:14

There is no pain that God can’t heal and no problem God can’t solve. There is no sin God can’t forgive and no circumstance God can’t change. When life gets hard it’s good to know that our Father is the biggest, most powerful being in existence.

Lord, thank you for taking care of me.