Why do the weeds grow and the flowers die? Why is there cancer, and divorce, and death? And why, even when my life is so full, do I feel so empty?

The answers to these questions are found, not in some lengthy discourse, but in a relatively short story about a man and woman who lived in a beautiful garden, where they walked and talked with God.

But then they ate the forbidden fruit and were driven from the Garden into the wilderness. This story helps to make sense of the curses and consequences we still live with today, and at the same time stirs our hearts with hope for our New Creation home.

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Bible Passage: Genesis 1-3

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Music: Cade Popkin Music

 

Superhero Origin Stories

I think our interest in origin stories is fascinating. Like, think about your favorite superhero stories. Doesn’t it make the story so much more interesting to know the back story, the origin story for the superhero? Like, how did Superman get so strong? It’s because he’s not actually from earth. His parents sent him here as a baby in a tiny spaceship, but he’s really from a place called Krypton.

And, why does Bruce Wayne invest so much into fighting crime? Well, it all started when he witnessed his parents’ murder as a child. So this painful story from his past shapes his passion and commitment to push back against darkness.

And what turns Peter Parker into spider-man? Well, there’s a two-fold answer. First, he’s bit by a radioactive spider and that gives him his abilities. But when Aunt May tells him, “with great power comes great responsibility”, well that’s when we see his character evolve. That’s when he starts using his strength for the sake of others.

Our Origin Story

Now, if my son were listening to me right now, he would be laughing because I really don’t know that much about superheroes. But I do know that their back stories help explain the complexities of who they are, what they long for, and what gives them hope for the future.

And it’s the same with us, and with our origin story—found on the earliest pages of our Bible. It’s there that we learn that, while—yes, we are earthlings, we’ve been exiled from the garden home, where our good Creator intended for us to live forever. In our origin story, we also meet our first parents, and learn that we too have a painful story in our past which has deeply affected us. that we, too, have a higher calling and purpose and calling that is baked into our origin story.

What’s interesting to me is that the answers for the most fundamental questions that our souls cry out for—questions about how things are supposed to be, and why everything is bent and broken, and what hope we have for restoration… the answers for these questions are all tucked into a relatively short story about a man and woman who once lived in a beautiful garden, where they walked and talked with God, but then ate the forbidden fruit, and were driven by God out into the wilderness.

This is the story we’re in. It’s our origin story. It helps us make sense of the world around us, and stirs up our longing for our new creation home.

A Pouch Full of Gems

If you’ve been around for a while, you know that on this podcast we focus on the narratives, or stories of the Bible. I’ve had you picture each story in the Bible like a velvet pouch with a drawstring, that contains precious gems of rich, theological truth. When we learn the story, it’s like gathering treasure, and storing it up. The story is what holds it all together. And any time we want, we can open that little velvet pouch, and spread out the gems and remind ourselves of the truths tucked into the story.

 

 

Well, if I had to choose one story that contained the most theological gems, it would be this one. The True Story of the Beginning, which our whole series will be based on. We’re going to take the next twelve episodes to work through Genesis 1-3, paragraph by paragraph, asking three questions:

➡️What’s surprising about this part of the story?
➡️How does this story correct the false narratives of the world?
➡️How can we live like the story is true?
The answers to these simple questions will give us God’s wise perspective and hopeful guidance on a wide array of topics including temptation, corruption, marriage, gender, shame, hiding, disappointment, longing… the list goes on. Embedded in this story about a generous Creator God, are precious truths that can guide us back to hope, security, peace, and joy.

Guest List

I’m so excited about our guest list for this 12 episode series. We have Nancy Guthrie with us to talk about Eden’s Fall. And then Kelly Needham will join us for an important conversation about gender in an episode titled “Male and Female”. Mary Kassian will join us to talk about marriage and the metaphor of marriage—or what it represents—in an episode titled “Man and Wife”. Courtney Doctor will help us understand the part of the story where an intruder—the sinister talking serpent—enters the scene.
These are only a few of our many guests and their fabulous insights on our origin story. I hope you’ll also check out the list of recommended resources we’ll be offering you throughout the series in the shownotes. I’ve spent the summer reading and listening to many of these resources, getting ready for these conversations, and these are the books, podcast episodes and videos that I found most helpful as I prepared for these conversations, and I know they’ll be a blessing to you.

Turn to Your Bible with Your Discomfort

But most of all, I hope these conversations will stir your heart to turn the opening pages of your Bible. I know that many of the things we’re going to say in these conversations are going to run against the grain of culture. Some of them might make you uncomfortable, and when that happens, I invite you to open your Bible with an open, honest heart. Read Genesis 1-3. Read it again and again, drinking in this story—the story that you’re in—for yourself. Let the framework of this true story of the beginning reframe the way you see the world around you, and your place in it.
We live in a world where there are a lot of assumptions being made, in particular, about marriage and gender and we have to be careful not to make assumptions that we know, just because of what we’ve watched someone else model. We have to let the designer—the one who Created us—have the final say, don’t you think?

 

These are some of the books that have helped me prepare for the conversations we’re having about the True Story of the Beginning. I highly recommend each of them. My book, Control Girlincludes a chapter on Eve, titled, “It Looked Good to me.”

(These are affiliate links, which means I am compensated a small amount if you purchase using my link.)

 

 

Recommended Podcast Episodes

These are some of the podcasts I have especially appreciated, and which have helped me prepare for the conversations we’re having about the True Story of the Beginning. I highly recommend each of them.

Listen on Spotify

Season 4: The True Story of the Beginning

Here’s the full series of episodes:


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Get Your FREE Live Like it’s True Workbook

Yes, Please!

To help you, we’ve added a False Narrative Watchlist as part of the Live Like It’s True Workbook, which correlates with this Story of the Beginning series. This part of the workbook helps you to put side by side, the truths communicated in this story, next to the false narratives of the world. I hope you’ll pick up your free copy today!

Also included:

  • The 4-page True Story Worksheet
  • The 1-page True Story Worksheet
  • 2-sided bookmark with Study and Story Tools
  • False Narrative Watchlist
  • “Awakening to the False Narratives”
  • Four Reasons Journaling Prompt
  • Reading the Bible as Story, content directory from the Podcast

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