Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The Bible Challenge, day 2: Rachel, weeping for her children; the mark of Cain and the coming flood; arrogant rulers

This morning starts early, because I was up late. Our Vestry meeting was very good, and longer than usual, but we got a lot done. Rising early this morning, I move into my time in the Bible Challenge and find the sorrow of humanity's deepening rift with God. It's origin is in our own pride, our own willfulness and in our desire to be in control, rather than in relationship with God and each other.

Genesis 4-6: Good lord, how can one live to 800 years and more? From Adam to Noah, not a one saw less than three hundred years! Imagine knowing someone who remembers not just World War II, but one who saw the Reformation happen, in the first person!

Psalm 2: Again and again in life, I give myself too many opportunities to repent of pride, stubbornness and willful departure from the mind of God. Oy.

Matthew 2: Why do the children always have to suffer the fear and arrogance of rulers? Ramah weeps...and Herod still dies, even as we all go down to the dust, eventually. When will power learn to care for, rather than reject, the weakest and neediest in our midst?

I continue to marvel. How wondrous is God's love for us. How disappointing we can be...thank God for God loving us, even when we continually wind up covered in the muck of our own making.


  1. Just wondering why Abel's work more pleasing to God than that of Cain? I have always struggled with this passage. Would like to get your take on it.

  2. There are a number of ways to discern an answer. One assumption is that God preferred the meat sacrifice to the grain. Another explanation is that the genesis story is about human nature and seeking to explain our experiences as people in society with each other and with God...and in this horrible tragedy we see the WORST of sibling rivalry. Cain's murder of Abel is really a summation of much of the worst of our brokenness. In this we see: envy, lack of esteem for self OR other, anger, violence, murder, etc. I think it is less about God apparently liking one more than the other, but about us and how we live with each other when all things are not being equal....