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Genesis 4:1-26, Beginnings of Civilization


Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

My mom has spent a lot of time doing genealogy work. She has gone back more generations than I can even comprehend, learning all she can about her (our) ancestors. I have never been a fan of knowing a list of names of people I know nothing about. But as we have talked about it further, I realize it is not the names and places that are so intriguing. It is the stories about those people that can sometimes be figured out by piecing together bits of information that paint a more complete picture of their lives.

During a recent visit with my mom (we live thousands of miles apart), I picked her brain about stories of my childhood. Not only mine, but also stories of her childhood, my dad's childhood, and my grandparents' childhoods. I found that by learning their stories, I could make more sense of my own life. We spoke of the dysfunctions but also the joys and surprises. We spoke of the relationships and the love so many in my family had for each other. It was a wonderful experience to be transported through story back in time!

Whether a person is related by blood or not, the stories of our families shape who we are. Learning what we can about the people who raised us and the people who raised them can be quite a gift. We can look forward and decide who we want to be in the world as we raise kids of our own, or as we influence the people around us who we love like family. We can decide how we want to show up in the world.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Genesis 4:17-26

Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and named it Enoch after his son Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad was the father of Mehujael, and Mehujael the father of Methushael, and Methushael the father of Lamech.

Lamech took two wives; the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Adah bore Jabal; he was the ancestor of those who live in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the ancestor of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah bore Tubal-cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.

Lamech said to his wives: “Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold.”

Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, “God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him.” To Seth also a son was born, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to invoke the name of the Lord.

Earlier Event: September 14
Genesis 4:1-16, Cain Murders Abel