I believe I was a high school sophomore when Joan Osborne’s song One of us became a chart topping hit. In the song the composer, Eric Bazilian, tries to deal with various aspects of belief in God by asking questions and inviting the listener to consider how they might relate to God. The song’s intro begins with a serious contemplative question that echoes the deepest yearnings that a lot of people had about what they would like to be set clear about God as the verse goes:
That verse somehow got stuck to my head from that point on, in spite of the irony that it was also during that time that I started to underwent my local church’s discipleship program. And it wasn’t until a few years following my graduation from college, after years of staying away from my community of faith that I came to realize that the answer to the question posed in the song’s verse is a unanimous: “yes,” because Scripture testifies that truth in the person of Jesus Christ.
It has been said that Genesis is the book of beginnings, and as an individual who is embarking on a new beginning I would like to use the word – serendipity to describe how timely the study of the book was for me as I start my life as a theology student at Asian Theological Seminary.
I have always believed that I already know the book –after all, I could no longer count how many times I have finished reading and hearing about it, and how many times I have studied it at church. After all –most of the Bible lessons that I’ve heard as a kid or have watched in Superbook are there: Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel; Noah’s ark; Abraham sacrificing Isaac; Rebecca’s marriage with Isaac; Jacob and Esau; Joseph the dreamer etc.
Re-reading Genesis has jolted me out of my ‘born again Christian’ complacency, that has been borne out of my belief that I already know all that there us to be learned from the book as I have already studied it a number of times at church. But as I have said earlier, reading it again in light of its original context has opened my eyes to God’s story that seems to be intricately related to me and how I live my life as a human being, especially if I were to relate it to its overarching theme that I consider as: creation, fall and reversal.