Where u at?
If you were to tell someone the story of your life, what would you say? What would be the main themes or important events?
Despite the opposition to ‘narratives’ in explaining the world around us, our personal narratives continue to be an important aspect in how we see ourselves and try and make sense of the world around us.
The Bible is full of stories. I was once asked by a parent whilst on the school run “what I did for a living?” I said, “I’m a Minister in the Anglican Church.” They asked how I reconciled science with the Bible and the Book of Genesis? I mentioned that I saw no conflict at all.
As a trained Scientist and a trained Church leader, I have been taught to read the Bible according to the genre or genres that the Bible has been written in. All writing comes to us in a particular form of genre. We learn this as we grow and when we come to read a newspaper for instance, we now know that we read the comics as humour, the editorial as a view point, weather as a prediction and the sports section as a report of actual events – give or take some bias if the writer is a sports fan!
So we write in certain genres depending on what it is we are trying to communicate. The Bible is no different. So when we come to the book of Genesis and look at the first few chapters, we need to read it according to its genres which are many, but mostly include poetry in the early chapters.
The mistake that is often made when talking about Genesis, is that we can place our western scientific mindset onto the text and try and read it through that lens. The problem with this approach is that Genesis was written before the discipline of science came into being and to read it as such leads us down a wrong pathway.
If we read Genesis according to its genre, we discover its beauty, power and timeless truths.
Early in the book of Genesis, after the temptation story of Adam and Eve, we are told that they hid from God because they were naked and felt ashamed. We too can feel ashamed for some of the things that we’ve done in our lives.
How can we be set free from this shame?
Despite their negative view of themselves, God noticed that they weren’t around and so God called out to them, “Where are you?”
This question ripples through time to every human heart despite the shame that we often feel. God says to us, “Where are you?”
I felt God calling me to follow him when I had finished University. I had studied science but one day in the quiet of a car journey, I heard God call me, a bit like he did to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?” In my case I felt God saying he had a wonderful life prepared for me, which, as it turns out was to be a Minister in the Church. It has been an awesome ride and an amazing journey which I would like to share some more with you at some time.
So when you think of God, think of a God who loves you and misses you so much so that God says, “Where are you?”
Rev Nat Reuss is the Anglican Minister for the Onkaparinga Valley
You are more than welcome to join us at:
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Nat’s Blog: https://revnatreuss.blogspot.com.au