Peace School - An ongoing mission running through the Pentateuch/Torah (first five books of the Old Testament), is to provide an alternative the myths and religions of the middle east that supported violence, empire and imperialism. So much of Genesis reads quite violent to us today (and it is!), but it was working at a much bigger issue - redefining God. Instead of buying into the gods of their neighbors, the children of Abraham and Israel were hearing God's call to be something different. We are not slaves to an empire that favors a few. We are in a covenant relationship with a God who dreams beyond the confines of empire. This God demands are allegiance, and doesn't favor the powerful Pharaoh of Egypt or the powerful King of Babylon. This God walks with Adam and Eve, with Cain and Abel, with Hagar and Ishmael, with the Hebrew slaves. This God saves Abraham from Pharaoh, Hagar from Sarah, and Joseph from his brothers. This God is found beyond the palace, in the wilderness and in a burning bush. This is quite a different God!
Reflect - As we discuss the Pentateuch (first five books in the Bible) in September and October, you are encouraged to read a chapter a day (or 7 chapters a week). If you started last week, that would mean continuing this week with chapters 29-35 in Genesis. This section continues the stories of the first family.
WATCH - there's also an interesting Jewish site with videos about Genesis. A video about Moses' last words is linked at the bottom of this post.
Pray - Work on practicing a daily time of intentional prayer. There are many resources online and ways to pray. One simple one (but can still be deep) is to pray the LORD's Prayer. Below is the New Zealand version.
Serve - Consider how you will be part of a bigger community this week. One option is prayerfully consider applying to Mennonite Mission Network or another group that invites us to learn how to in solidarity with those who have been left out, left behind, poor, or oppressed. Here's a link to one of our Summer Trip options that we'll decide about on Oct. 25 during our meeting with Parents. SOOP