Where Our Story Really Begins
|Image Source: Kelly Sikkema|
However, while this is an important part of the whole, it is not where our story begins.
The story of the fall of man is found in Genesis 3. The Bible begins with another story in Genesis 1: A story where God creates the Earth and all that is in it and sees it as good. A story where God creates humans and calls them very good. This is where our story begins: as God's sacred creations, not as sinful beings.
Not only does our story begin with God creating humans as inherently good beings, but our story also does not end with death and despair, it concludes with the good news of resurrection and the restoration of all creation.
Richard Rohr, in his latest book The Universal Christ, claims that the true and essential work of all religion is to help us recognize and recover the divine image in everything.
Our entire lives as children of God is concerned with being reconciled to God and God's plan for the world.
It is true that we all have sinful tendencies and "we have all fallen short of the glory of God," but sometimes we focus so much on our shortcomings that we forget our story does not start (or end) with the failure of human beings. It begins and concludes with the perfect relationship that human beings were intended to share with their Creator.
Rather than wallowing in perpetual shame of our mistakes and failures, perhaps we would be better served to joyously participate in the reconciliation of the world and its people to their original, glorious purpose.
"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation."
- 2 Corinthians 5:18 (NIV)