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“We can’t create what we haven’t see, but we can imagine
what we have seen being different”
This sermon opened up a new series to begin the new year. Over the course of the next few weeks, we look to see how new beginnings always blossom from the past, through the lens of text, context, questions, and practices, hoping to inspire new ways of being within our individual lives. This first week naturally started with the Genesis story, where God created the Heavens, the Earth, and all which inhabit it; where God gave domain of the Earth to humanity; where all was good. We examined the context of this story. This story is commonly understood to be the beginning of everything, but contextually this is simply not true. The reality was that this story was written by people, during a time when there were thousands of people in conversation about all kinds of different possibilities about what God was like, and what our purpose was. Specifically, Genesis comes from Israelites in captivity in Babylon, and was derived as a response to the creation stories they heard in their exile. Genesis shares similarities to the Babylonian creation story. In both, matter existed before God (or Gods), who then began to create light and divide the land, comprise order from chaos, and eventually result in man. However, in the Babylonian story, “savage man” was created to cater to the whims of the Gods. Genesis is a critique to this story, a resistance which looks to bring a new answer to the questions, “What is God like and why are we here?” Rather than being the janitors to the Gods, Genesis transforms humanity into the crescendo of the creation story, inviting us into co-creating with God in order to care for and stuor the planet.
We used this story of Genesis and the contrasting context to help think about how we may be more intentional sturos of this Earth. We looked at practices through the method of design thinking, which is broken into two primary steps: empathizing and imagining. First, we need to listen and seek to understand what people are thinking. The Genesis story was written in response to people hearing and seeing the needs of those Israelites in exile. We need to see within ourselves what we think and feel, how we define success and failure, and how that is related to the world we inhabit. Within this listening, we will find things that trouble us, and when we really empathize, we can feel those troubles. This becomes a powerful tool to help us imagine “What if, and how might we…” We cannot create what we haven’t seen, but we can take the risk in imagining what we have seen differently, as better than it is. The Genesis story did not manifest from nothing; it came from the listening to the sufferings of the people in captivity, and from risky imagination which believed a better way was possible. We are unable to alter the truths of the past, but in listening to them, we too can be inspired to imagine a different way of being for ourselves, and for the people around us.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
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