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  • Shanley McConnell

Week Twenty Eight: The Monday Review

"And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing." Genesis 12:2


This week is of great importance to me because I am including the Biblical book of Genesis in my list of Monday reviews.


Over the last couple of weeks I have been listening to the Bible, with a promise to complete the whole book by winter, 2022. Although I have read the Bible many times, it has been a while since I reread the whole


anthology, all 66 of the ancient books, in a year. I listened to the New International Version of Genesis on Audible, read by David Suchet, reading alongside simultaneously. Hearing the words of our Biblical forefathers, the accented poetry of their worship, the momentum of their works read aloud brought the Bible to life for me in a way that was wondrous and new.


I began with Genesis, the creation of the world, the fall of Adam and Eve, the Flood, God's covenant with Abraham, the rivalry and dissension between Jacob and Esau.


Genesis mirrors the Good News of Christ's coming. All the narratives written above––the beautiful perfection of humankind in communion with God, the sin that wrought the garden into a world of heaviness, work and sorrow, the flood that cleansed and punished the people's wicked ways, the hatred that grew among men and women, how burdensome the weight of their sin, without God, no man or woman could ever be made blameless or right. These narratives lead to the Genesis account of a beloved son who matured into prophesies given to him by God.


My appreciation and curiousity around technicoloured-dream-coat Joseph greatened, as I read more and more about God's hand on his life. Rereading the scriptures brought him and his family to life for me in beautiful, bold detail. My imagination repainted scenes I had read many times until they were almost unrecognisable. Familiar, but restored to their deserved brilliance.


I was struck by the gorgeous but heavy conclusion where Israel, who was formerly known as Jacob, dies. Before, all his sons gather around the bedside and listen to their father prophesy over each of them. This moment is rife with sadness. In the sorrow, there is both uncertainty and assuredness of what is to come; for from the mouth of Israel, the Lord God blesses the descendents of Abraham and Isaac. These blessings come with warning and relief.


Over the last couple of weeks I have been praying Israel's blessing for my friends, my neighbours, my grandmother, grandparents, sisters, mother and father. A blessing of longevity for the future family I will build. Over the last couple of days, this blessing has become my prayer for the nation of Ukraine.


May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life, the angel who has redeemed me from all harm––may he bless you. May you be called by my name and names of my ancestors, who remained faithful to Lord God through life, and may you grow into a multitude upon the earth.