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Week 3 - Cain and Abel

September 23rd, 2018

Setting the scene...

The story of Cain and Abel is one that replays itself over and over in our lives.  We work hard and make sacrifices in order to achieve something good in the future. And from time to time those sacrifices fail to produce what we hope for.  It is at that point that sin crouches at our door, waiting to see how we respond. If we accept responsibility for the failure and try to change and figure out how we can make the sacrifice work, then we do what is right, we remain like Abel.  If we fall into resentment and anger, if we blame everyone and everything around us for our failure, if we do not accept responsibility - then sin pounces on us and we become like Cain - angry and vengeful. In so doing we murder the ideal within us and we become cursed.  But take hope - God says in the passage “If you do what is right, things will go well with you. You will be accepted.” It is within our power to walk rightly and to reject the pride and the resentment that leads us to be like Cain.

Reading for this week...

Genesis 4-5

Questions for reflection...

If I were to imagine my best self (my Abel), what does that look like?  What are my relationships like?  What is my work like?  How would things be different?


When things go wrong, what is my default?  Do I jump to blaming others or do I start with myself?  How did I go wrong?


Reflect on your own life. How can I resist the sin "crouching at my door"?  How can I find the best in myself and in others and continue to work toward THAT image and help others to do the same?

For additional study...

WATCH: The story of Cain and Abel reveals the complexity of human nature. Explore the Biblical understanding of sin through this video brought to you by the Bible Project:

READ: What does the United Methodist Church teach about sin? Learn more here…

JOIN A CLASS: Talk with other people about the Book of Genesis during a Bible study class at Delano UMC. Classes meet on Sunday or Thursday evenings. For more info

PRAYER EXERCISE:  God speaks to us in many ways to bring wisdom, grace, and new life. Consider listening to God through God practice of Lectio divina, as you read scripture in a slower, deeper way

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