Genesis – stories of grace – by @vahva

Where to start? Reading the bible is a strange exercise. People who have never read it will often pick it up and start at the beginning – which is logical. However, it shouldn’t be read as if it were a novel – it isn’t. So I often recommend to people new to the bible to read perhaps a Gospel first. Having said all of that, Genesis (which means beginning), is a pretty good place to start and in our series this year, it’s nice to begin at the beginning at the beginning of a new year (try saying that quickly!).

Genesis is one of my favourite books of the bible and it’s probably because it has some of the best stories: Adam and Eve, Noah and the Ark, and, my personal favourite, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (I always have to call it that – I know that phrase is not actually in the bible!).

Image of Joseph and his coat of many colours

A few years ago I bought a DVD of the film Joseph King of Dreams for my god daughter and her brother. At the same time they received a copy of the Pixar movie Monsters Inc. I assumed that my nice Christian present would go unwatched next to the Pixar film. Then, a couple of months later, Millie’s mum rang me to say ‘the kids are constantly watching that Joseph film! Millie has some questions’. The kids had been watching the film on a loop and they were fascinated. Millie (about aged 8 at the time) asked me on the phone ‘Why did Jacob have a favourite son?’ and various other questions (that were quite tricky to answer). There is something really compelling about the stories in Genesis and I think it is that they are very real. They’re full of interesting characters that are not one dimensional but complex.

A lot of the characters in Genesis are not likeable and, for me, this is the great great thing about this book: God likes them. Jacob is a pretty horrible individual – he sells his brother’s birthright, causes no end of trouble in his family through favouritism and even wrestles with God. And God blesses him.

The stories we see in Genesis are ultimately stories of grace. They show us, right at the beginning of the bible, how God interacts with people and families and real life problems.

Last year we looked at the theme of ‘story‘ and something tells me that this theme won’t go away this year as we work through God’s stories in the Bible. Stories are compelling. If you look at what gets read on social media, you will see that there is often a story behind it.

A brilliant story shared on social media this last week was this one about a heart-warming email sent to a 7 year old boy Lego customer service:

lego letter

Reading that made me think, how can I do something small and simple in my normal working life to bring love, joy and hope to another?

How can you tell your story of grace or share stories of grace about others?

About Bryony Taylor

Enthusiast for learning, technology, Christian faith and life! Ordinand in the Church of England - training at Cranmer Hall, Durham.