From the Minister



From the Minister

July 2024

Dear Friends,

This month we are marking ‘Bible Month’.  It’s a time when we in the Methodist Church are encouraged to focus on one particular book in the bible and reflect on the messages it gives us today.  This year the chosen book is Genesis, the very first book of the bible.

It is quite a tall order to cover all of Genesis in a month, especially compared to some of the shorter books we have studied in recent years.  In an epic 50 chapters, the book of Genesis takes us from creation to the movement of the nation of Israel into Egypt under Joseph, taking in some of the best-known bible stories including Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob and of course Joseph and his brothers.  There are big themes to look at too; creation, sin, covenant and betrayal – that’s rather a lot for four Sundays!

I think the hope is, that having dipped into some of the passages in our Sunday worship, we might feel moved to look more deeply at the text in our own private reading and to revisit some of the stories that we think we know well to see what they offer us in a 21st century context.  As with the bible as a whole, Genesis is not a single book, but a library with a variety of literary genres.  During our reading we will encounter poetry, philosophy, legal text, historical genealogies and much more, all of which seeks, not simply to give us a historical account, but to seek to explain why things are as they are and to give us a picture of God’s involvement with creation, right from the beginning.

Through the years there has been plenty of debate about the stories in Genesis and how we read them, but there is also plenty to say to us today.  What can we learn about our approach to the environment from the creation narrative, for example? 

Genesis is made up of human stories and as such there is plenty that goes wrong.  However, we become increasingly aware of a God who weaves loving plans through and often in spite of his human messengers and who cares about all that he has made.  May that message inspire us in our living and loving, this month and always.

God bless.