Preacher: David Smith
Daily Walk: David Smith
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 75:1-5.
Read: Genesis 1-2 (ESV). As you read the English Standard Version, note 1-3 insights or questions that arise from the text.
Reflect: Have you ever found yourself browsing through channels on TV and landed right in the middle of a movie being aired? Depending upon the complexity of the storyline, it can be downright baffling to jump into the middle of a plot. The entire story progression continues to be based upon things you have not seen. There are references to earlier scenes that make no sense. There is a conflict that characters are trying to resolve yet you don’t know what the conflict is. It can be a confusing mess!
Perhaps our own world is like that. Going through life often feels like you were dropped into a plot that you don’t understand. Why is there so much pain in the world? Why do people choose to hurt each other? What is my purpose? Where am I headed? Until you take the time to understand how all of this began, it’s difficult to make sense of the present. Maybe this is why there are so many origin stories throughout different cultures; stories that have been passed on from generation to generation to help clarify our place in the world and the world itself.
This is of course important to our own faith tradition. Scripture has been ordered such that the very first phrase is “In the beginning…” because we understand that unless we know what takes place there, nothing else matters. It’s in that first story that we learn how sin and suffering entered the world. We learn we were intentionally brought into existence. We learn that we weren’t designed for death or pain. Most importantly, we learn that we were designed to live in a relationship with God.
Respond: Pray for someone who is suffering or in pain.
Research: What are other explanations (from other religions) for pain and suffering in the world?