Monday, April 17, 2006

Uz the Firstborn, Buz his Brother (Gen 22:21)

Okay, this entry has nothing to do with the title. I just got to that line in the reading tonight and it amused me tremendously. Uz and Buz, huh? I've got an image of Larry, Darrell and Darrell in my head from the 80s Newhart show. :)

Tonight's reading impressed me in its distinctiveness from yesterday's reading. Those opening chapters of Genesis are so swooningly cosmological--such grand stages, this creation of the earth and its peopling! this banishment from paradise and the eventual destruction of the world! this coupling with the Nephalim and the building of gigantic towers that ascend into heaven itself.

Then, the intimate space of Abram and Sarai. Of intimacy, betrayal, pregnancy, slaves, newborns, odd deals, and so on. No less drama then the opening chapters, but the camera has gone from extremely wide angle to extreme close up.

Though a larger story is being told as well. We discover the origins of the peoples that Israel will encounter in her future. (So the Moabites and Ammonites are children of incest. They must just love that narrative beginning to their histories!)

I simply love Genesis. I love the way it places us, yes, with all that cosmological stuff. But I also love the fraility of the people depicted in the pages we read today. I certainly recognize myself in them. All the times I get it wrong.

Maybe it's just where I am right now, but I sure did notice this time that God took God's good ol' time in taking the first step of fulfilling the promise to Abe.

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