I don't go to the movies or the theater very often, but when I do, I always try and pick a seat where I can achieve the best possible viewing experience. I carry with me the hope that somebody extremely tall, or who is wearing a vision blocking hat they refuse to remove, does not occupy the row in front of me.
I say a little prayer that I will be protected from intermittent chatterers and folk incapable of consuming a box of popcorn quietly. It's not that I'm a theater snob. I just want to be in a position where I can enjoy the experience without interruption or distraction.
Last week here at Mount Hebron Presbyterian we began our journey through a book by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee called 'The Story'. Our kick-off sermon can be found here.
Throughout this week we will reading Chapter One of the book, which is all about creation and the beginning of life as we know it. The first line in both The Story and the Bible reads, 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth' (Genesis 1:1).
Right from the start we find the main character in the story is not you or me. It is God. And the rest of The Story unfolds out of the nature and person of God's character. It doesn’t take long to find out what God’s great passion is. Birds? Nope. Animals? Not quite. Sun, moon or stars? Good guess. But no. In Genesis 3:8 we find that God is walking in the Garden with Adam and Eve in the 'cool of the day.'
Sounds nice if you are in a hot, humid climate, doesn’t it? And yet the 'cool of the day' is not the focus. God is, and God is near. God is right with Adam and Eve. God is right here with us. God's simple vision for humankind was to spend time with them every day. God’s supreme passion is to be with us.
Some of us have been given the impression that God is some angry cosmic kill-joy who sits in the heavens and waits for us to make a mistake. Or, we feel God is distant and doesn’t care, or has simply forgotten us. But from the beginning God has shown us this is not the case. God wants to be with us. God has not forgotten us.
As we read the scriptures and travel through The Story we will discover that this is a reoccurring theme. If you want some questions to consider relating to the first chapter, they can be found here.
When thinking about some music that would fit with Chapter One what came to mind was a song by 70's Jesus-rocker, the late Larry Norman, titled 'Deja Vu'. Of particular relevance is the line 'Once we were happy, once in the garden, but then a lie broke the stillness, and our hearts began to harden'.
There is a possibility that we may not have a service this coming Sunday because of inclement weather. If that happens we will have to do some rescheduling. But we will have a whole extra week to read the book :-) So please watch the website and Facebook page for details of any cancellations!
Rev. Adrian Pratt