Category Archives: Kyle’s Korner

Genesis 10-26

Week 2 of our Reading through the Bible begins with the incredibly stimulating list of nations (sorry for the sarcasm). While lists like this one aren’t fun to read or particularly insightful at first glance, they do offer a glimpse into world history for that time. This list ties back to chapter 5 as a “book of generations” that is laid out with political/family considerations as more important than ethnic ones (10:5, 20, 31) and it lays the foundation for the call of Abraham in chapter 12.

We meet Abram (“exalted father”) who will become Abraham (“father of many nations”) in Genesis 12. We read of his call by God to leave his homeland of Ur and journey to land God will show him. There, God will bless him so that he might be a blessing. So, Abraham and his wife, Sarah, and nephew, Lot, gather their belongings and set out to that land that God will show them. As is usual, the journey is never a direct route from one place to another. Abraham spent some time wandering throughout the land. Genesis 12 through 26 tells the story of Abraham’s journey to fulfill his call to God.

I spent a little time contemplating Genesis 12:11-20 — Abram and Sarai arriving in Egypt. To “protect” Abram, they lie about their relationship (husband/wife) and claim to be brother/sister. Abram and Sarai seem to get away with telling the lie, as no harm was caused to them. However, Pharaoh was afflicted with great plagues because of their dishonesty. How many times do we offer dishonest information that seeks to protect ourselves, yet ends up causing great harm to others! It amazes me that I fail to learn from such instances. I find that my self interests seem to almost always outweigh the common good. How contrary to God’s call upon my life is that? (Fast forward to Genesis 20 and see how Abraham and Sarah acted in a similar situation.)

Genesis 18 reminds us that denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. Sarah, blessed with great possessions and a wonderful husband, is promised a child. At 99, she laughed at the promise God offers. Upon being accused of laughing out loud, out of fear, she denies laughing. Why is fear such a strong motivator? Why do we fail to believe the great promises that God has continually and faithfully delivered? What might life look like if we pulled ourselves out of denial and basked in the grace of God?

The story of Abraham, Sarah, (with children Esau and Jacob beginning in Genesis 25 and following) and Lot is filled with a mixture of familiar passages of hope, judgment, struggle and promises. It also offers surprising stories of betrayal, wandering and forgiveness. The story of Hagar found in Genesis 21 often gets overlooked as an important part of our journey in relationships with others. Like many of you, I can recall hearing the joyous story of Sarah giving birth to Isaac in Sunday School. Yet, the story of Abraham casting Hagar out into the wilderness with her child did not seem to be part of that lesson! My friend and colleague Cara Gilger once wrote about this, “the story of Hagar’s draws attention to the theme of wilderness found in the Abraham story and casts it in a new light. Unlike Abraham who chose to wander through unknown land, Hagar’s wilderness was unexpected, forced upon her with little choice. How often have we found ourselves in strange and unexpected places in life, unsure of where to go or how to respond? As the author and theologian Delores Williams points out, many people in our own community are like Hagar, cast aside without a thought. Yet God’s light and hope is ever-present. How do we search for that light in our wilderness moments? Or how do we become a witness of that light to others in the wilderness?”

As I said in my sermon on Sunday, the story of the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22 shakes me to my core in what is says about God — demanding a human blood sacrifice as a show of obedience — and Abraham — being willing to cut off the only avenue God provided to fulfill the promise and blessing and seeing Isaac as means to an end and not a person. Yes, God tested Abraham, but maybe Abraham failed the test and provided the ram to redeem Abraham’s failure as God continually works to redeem our failings. I am thankful for God’s unwavering, unending, faithfulness because, like Abraham, I have been known to fail tests.

Genesis 1-9

As we get started on our reading plan, we start at the beginning — although we will jump around a bit after we get through Genesis.  We start with what Biblical scholars call “pre-history,” stories that tell of times before lasting artifacts or documents.  These are stories that help us develop a sense of identity and our place in the world.  As I talked about Sunday in my sermon, we can’t skip Genesis 1 or read through it quickly or we will miss important information about our identity.  

In Genesis 1, God created everything — the sky, the sun, moon, and stars, the waters separated to form dry land.  On that dry land, plants and animals were created.  In the seas, the fish and other animals were created.  In the sky, the birds were put there to soar.  Everything was blessed and declared “good” in God’s eyes.  Then, humans were created in God’s image and it was “very good.”

Perfection didn’t last — as we learn in Genesis 3 & 4.  We humans couldn’t let a good thing keep going and allow what we have called “sin” to enter the world.  But before there was “Original Sin” there was and remains “Original Grace.”  In Genesis 5:3, we read that Adam has a son named Seth who was born in Adam’s likeness.  Adam’s likeness is God’s likeness, which means Seth’s likeness is God’s likeness.  Even though humans lost their paradise, humans are still created in God’s likeness.  Sin does not disrupt God’s image in humanity.

By chapter 6, humans’ wickedness was rampant — as 6:5 says, “only evil all the time” (NIV) — and, grieved, God wants to start over completely with humans.  However, Noah was a righteous man and God uses Noah and his family to start over with people.  So, Noah builds a boat, it rains for a little bit, and creation is restored.  Through it all, God remembers that all that is created is good — including people — and promises to never destroy it all again.

Without getting caught in the minutiae of every word or verse (or minimizing Noah’s boat, the little rain, and the restoration of ALL creation), we can see the larger picture that Genesis 1-11 (yes, I’m add a couple of chapters as the reading passages don’t always match the breaks/transitions in the text).  God begins humanity with (for tradition’s sake — because in 1:26 male and female are created at the same time) Adam, then Adam’s family, and then, the whole world.  Then, God starts over in chapter 6 with Noah, Noah’s family, and then extending God’s promise to the whole world.  Looking forward, the story and the promise will begin again after Babel in chapter 12 with Abram, Abraham’s family, and to the whole world.

God’s eyes for all creation, including humanity, see the good in it all.  God relates to all creation, including humanity, with faithfulness in all times and in all places.  We know that humanity doesn’t see the good in all of creation, nor do we act with faithfulness to God in all times and places.  I am confident that throughout the reading of the Bible this year, you will see God’s faithfulness.  You will also see that, regardless of the particulars, humanity will fall short.  In fact, humanity will astound you how unfaithful, short-sighted, selfish, callous, and creative (not in a good way) we can be.  Yet, God will forgive and extend grace.  

The story of God’s relationship will humanity continues…

September Reading Schedule

1 Genesis 1-2, Psalm 1
2 Genesis 3-5, Psalm 2
3 Genesis 6-9, Psalm 3
4 Off
5 Genesis 10-11, Psalm 4
6 Genesis 12-14, Psalm 5
7 Genesis 15-17, Psalm 6
8 Genesis 18-20, Psalm 7
9 Genesis 21-23, Psalm 8
10 Genesis 24-26, Psalm 9
11 Off
12 Genesis 27-29, Psalm 10
13 Genesis 30-32, Psalm 11
14 Genesis 33-36, Psalm 12
15 Genesis 37-39, Psalm 13
16 Genesis 40-42, Psalm 14
17 Genesis 43-46, Psalm 15
18 Off
19 Genesis 47-50, Psalm 16
20 Mark 1-3, Psalm 17
21 Mark 4-6, Psalm 18:1-24
22 Mark 7-9, Psalm 18:25-50
23 Mark 10-12, Psalm 19
24 Mark 13-16, Psalm 20
25 Off
26 Exodus 1-4, Psalm 21
27 Exodus 5-8, Psalm 22:1-11
28 Exodus 9-11, Psalm 22:12-31
29 Exodus 12-14, Psalm 23
30 Exodus 15-17, Proverbs 1

Welcome & Getting Started

Welcome, First Christian Church family and friends, to this site blog and conversation for First Christian Church’s Read Through the Bible in a Year Program. You are invited to participate in reading the blogs and comments and add your own comments to the conversation. I will be offering weekly blogs associated with the daily readings throughout the year.  This blog will reflect the readings that are coming up in the week.  I will be offering some commentary insights and cues to look for as you read the text for greater understanding and conversation.  You are invited to ask questions and make comments on the week’s readings and/or blog to create conversation amongst the participants.

This program will begin on September 1, 2016 and continue through August 31, 2017 — or as long as I am still Interim Minister at First Christian (the Interim term is key!)  We will not be reading the Bible straight through (Genesis to Revelation).  Instead, we will be alternating Old Testament and New Testament books and jumping around a little bit within each Testament.  The readings will be published in each week’s Sunday Worship bulletin and on the church’s website.

There will be six days worth of reading each week (Sunday will be our Sabbath) to spend the day reflecting on the past readings.  However, if you have gotten behind, please use Sunday as a day to catch up.  Also, there will be other days throughout the year that we will not have readings — again to take a break to spend with family and friends, or to get caught up on your readings.

If you have any specific questions or have problems adding a comment, you are welcome to email me directly at  I would be happy to help you in any way I can.

Thank you for your participation!  I hope you find this time of reading and reflecting on the Bible meaningful.




Daily Readings for this week:

Thursday, September 1 — Genesis 1-3 and Psalm 1

Friday, September 2 — Genesis 4-6 and Psalm 2

Saturday, September 3 — Genesis 7-9 and Psalm 3