The Book of Generations: Two Beginnings

Last week, I asked myself in what ways does my life reflect my statement that nothing is more important to me than relationship with God, and passing that on to the next generation? How does the way I channel my resources, the way I prioritize my energy, and my focus, the way I live out my dailies, reflect this statement of my conviction?
And my next question to myself is how what I support reflects that truth? How much of my church’s budget, for example, a budget I regularly contribute to, is spent on a terrific worship service Sunday morning compared to developing, sustaining, and handing on depth and breadth of relationship with our Lord? Compared to caring for our community, and our earth? What concerns our church governing board the most—money? Numbers of people on a Sunday morning? The condition of the church campus, or online presence? Whether traditional music, or contemporary music is favorably represented? (By the way, I love my church, and I feel very thankful that every member of the church I am a part of has a say in all of these things.)
The main aim of the church is to be the Body of Christ, living as a vibrant community deeply abiding in the Lord, extending the love, grace, and joy of the community to the world around it. Caring for what God loves and cares for, the beautiful earth He created and continues to sustain by the power of His word. Caring for the beautiful people He lovingly creates, in His own image and likeness, and sustains daily by the power of His word. And to raising up a new generation of those who will call upon the name of the Lord in all these things.
God will not allow human evil to keep going indefinitely. God restrains it, but when evil reaches a certain limit, God judges it. This is the repeated story of history, and is the trajectory of humanity’s future. But what will that final judgement mean for all people? One clue is embedded in the following phrase, “This is the book of the generations of,” which occurs in only two places in Scripture. Here in Genesis it is, “This is the book of the generations of Adam.
The only other place it occurs is in the book of Matthew, “This is the book of the generations of Jesus Christ.” The most important factor in all the world, which determines humankind’s destiny, is not the contributions which people make to culture or civilization. Whether or not you have made a reputation for yourself is of little eternal consequence. The critical element for every person named in Genesis chapters 1-5 was this: did that person call on the name of the Lord?
The apostle Peter explained why this final judgment seems so slow in coming, now that Jesus has completed His earthly mission. “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends,” Peter wrote, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
All people have a choice. They can choose the way of Cain, or they can choose the way of Seth. One may lead to earthly grandeur, but the glory is hollow and has no lasting power in terms of eternity. The way of Seth may seem ordinary, unimpressive, without any particular note at all, really. But, in reality, it is the richest of lives, lived in the love and mercy of God, and it is a way that has no end.
[Tree of Life, BrokenSphere [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Joanne led and taught a Bible class of 350-500 students from 2003 to 2013, and has recently retired as an advisor and mentor to eight Bible classes in the Maryland area with BSF, International. ____________________________________________________________ Joanne continues as a Bible teacher with Ancient Voices, Sacred Stories, LLC, and serves on the pulpit teaching team of her church, New Hope Chapel, Arnold, MD. ____________________________________________________________ A long-time "armchair archaeologist," Joanne joined the Board of Directors for the Biblical Archaeology Forum in 2013 and has participated in two excavations, Tel Kabri and Tel Akko. Another passion for Joanne is the healing work of counseling. She serves as a lay counselor and trainer in affiliation with The Lay Counselor Institute, since 2012. Joanne is currently attending Portland Seminary, working towards a Masters in Theological Studies, with an emphasis in Biblical studies

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