Genesis 29: 15-28

Earlier this year, I preached a sermon at another congregation on Genesis, chapters 2 and 3: the famous – indeed, infamous – passages dealing with Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden for having eaten the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In this sermon, I concluded that Christian tradition had been unduly harsh to Eve, that it had blamed her for failings that had, in fact, been Adam’s fault. I made this claim because a careful reading of the text shows that, instead of simply doing what the serpent told her to do, Eve had in fact undertaken a process of reasoning before deciding to eat the fruit. That reasoning had been morally deficient, but at least Eve had applied her intellect to the question of whether or not to eat the fruit.The same, however, could not be said of Adam. When Eve gives him the fruit and tells him to eat, instead of thinking through the consequences – indeed, instead of doing any thinking at all – he simply does what he’s told. Without protest or argument or consideration, he takes the fruit, and eats. Continue reading “Genesis 29: 15-28”

Resting in the Presence of God: A Trinitarian Weekly Prayer Cycle

For the past nine months, my Dearly Beloved and I have had to endure an enforced period of relative inactivity while we wait to be called to congregational placements and accordingly be ordained as Ministers of the Word in the Uniting Church.  There have been various reasons for this hiatus, none of which need detain us here; but the point is, although we’ve both been busily engaged in interim ministry positions over the whole of this period, it isn’t the same as being ministers in our own right.  You’re acutely aware that you’re only in placement for a restricted period; that you are, as it were, marking time, and therefore unable to actually do anything.  A most frustrating and trying experience. Continue reading “Resting in the Presence of God: A Trinitarian Weekly Prayer Cycle”

Genesis 25: 19-34

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but the opinion and letters pages of Crosslight (the newspaper of the Uniting Church’s Victorian/Tasmanian Synod) have, in recent months, been the forum for a vigorous debate about Christian tradition, and whether or not it has left us with anything helpful to say on the subject of who Jesus is and what it means to be a Christian.  It has been a debate that has been argued eloquently and passionately by the participants; but the thing that may have struck those following this debate – and which has certainly struck me – has been the certainty with which the different points of view have been presented.  None of the participants seem to indicate any doubts or uncertainty about their own position, and seem equally uninclined to accept anything their opponents have to say.  Indeed, it’s been a display of the kind of certainty that appears to leave very little room for any middle ground. Continue reading “Genesis 25: 19-34”