18Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” 19So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner.
21So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” 24Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.
Reading Scripture to Know:
- What is happening/being said? (Observation)
- Why is this happening/being said? (Interpretation)
- What does the rest of Scripture say about it? (Evaluation)
- What does it mean? (Understanding)
- What does it mean for us? (Application)
Reading Scripture to Grow:
- What words or phrases stand out to you? Why?
- Where do you hear the voice of God in this Scripture?
- How do you see the character of God reflected in this Scripture?
- How does this Scripture reveal God?
- How does this Scripture expose humanity and its need for God?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in your life?
- How does this Scripture speak to what is happening in our world?
- What might God want to communicate to you (us) this week through this Scripture?
Scripture Reads Me:
- This passage makes me feel…
- This passage makes me think about…
- This passage reminds me of…
- This passage teaches me that God is…
- This passages teaches me that I am…
- This passage challenges me to…
One of the foundational truths of life is that we are interdependent. No person is an island unto himself or herself, to paraphrase John Donne. God created this world and all of its elements to depend on one another in order to survive and thrive. Fruitfulness is only accomplished together. This is true whether you are talking about a family, a workplace, a church, or a community at large. One of the great blessings of the world is to be able to look at its most seemingly insignificant part and respond, “I need you.”
The second chapter of Genesis reminds us that we have responsibilities toward one another, toward the animals, toward the earth itself, and – most importantly – toward God. We are responsible for one another’s well-being. When we leave out the least, Jesus would remind us, we cannot fulfill our Kingdom calling.
When I was young and in school, I hated doing group projects. I wanted to get it all done myself, because that way I could make sure it was done exactly the way I wanted it done. I was quite a perfectionist and a perfectionist has a hard time trusting details to others. As I have grown, I have learned the value of teamwork. There is always someone who brings to the task at hand some giftedness that I do not possess. Without them, the project or task is incomplete.
How can you foster a team spirit in your life? How can you look to those around you and say, “I need you”? You might be surprised how much you can accomplish and the richness of life you can experience if you open your life to others. As one of my favorite characters of all time, Winnie the Pooh, would say: “It is much friendlier with two!”
Write about a time in which you helped someone achieve something big in their life. As you reflect on having been a helper in someone’s life, understand that the Hebrew word for helper in our passage does not imply a subservient role. Instead, the word is ‘ezer, which elsewhere in the Old Testament is used exclusively for God. So, when have you been a divinely inspired and empowered helper for someone? What was this experience like for you and for the person you were helping? How did you experience God’s presence and grace through the act of helping?
This practice allows you to listen to the Scripture for the week (in larger context) and to open yourself up to God’s voice in that Scripture.
Click on the audio link above and listen to the Scripture. As you listen this first time, ask God to point out to you a word or phrase from the Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a second time. As you listen this second time, ask God to reveal to you the holy intentions for this word or phrase that is being spoken into your life.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a third time. As you listen this third time, ask God how you might respond to this word or phrase being spoken into your life today.
Cloud of Witnesses:
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Saint Thomas Aquinas was the greatest theological systematizer of the Middle Ages. More than perhaps any other person of his time, he discovered how to honor God with his mind and with theological exploration. His work showed how everything fit into the shalom of God – the reign of God in which all things work together for God’s purposes and God’s glory. Take a moment to read about the life of Saint Thomas Aquinas or check out his greatest work – the Summa Theologica (only 99 cents on Kindle!).
Listen to the song, King of My Heart, by Kutless. You can download the song here if you’d like. This song emphasizes one of the basic elements of God’s character that we see reflected in the creation accounts of Scripture – the goodness of God. What is God communicating to you through this song? What might you communicate to God through this song?
Pray for the lonely this week. In participating in Meals on Wheels some years ago, I came to understand that there are many lonely people in our communities who just need someone with whom they can talk and share life. Ask God to give you attentiveness to those around you so that you might be a comforting presence to someone in need of human interaction. Trust God to give you eyes to see the worth of the people you meet.
Imagine the person who means the most to you. Perhaps it is someone that you can share a laugh with, like the couple in the image above. Perhaps it is someone who has always been there to support you and pray for you. Whoever it is, imagine them standing with you. Now imagine that Christ Jesus is standing in your midst. How is Christ holding you two together? How is Christ drawing you closer to one another. How is Christ leading you both to open up your hearts and share with others the love and support you feel for one another? Just as with the Holy Trinity, love and care that is felt between two is never completely made whole until it is shared with another.
Take some time to reflect upon your day or your week. Follow the process below and open yourself up to the presence and work of God in your life this week. Every week the structure is the same, but some specifics are changed to reflect the Scripture of the week.
- Find a place and posture that will prepare you for prayer.
- Begin by breathing in deeply through your nose and breathing deeply out of your mouth.
- Invite God to lead you through the previous day or week. For instance, if it is Tuesday night, reflect back on Tuesday morning, afternoon, and evening. If it Saturday or Sunday, reflect back on Monday through Friday.
- Ask God to guide you through these questions:
- Who has been my support?
- Whom have I supported?
- How has God been present in my relationships?
- How am I caring for God’s creation?
- Thank God for this journey of reflection on your day or week. Ask God to continue to reveal Godself to you tomorrow.
Tell a special someone how much they mean to you this week. The greatest gifts God gives us are the people in our lives. Express appreciation and love for your friends, your family, your fellow church members. Sometimes we take for granted that people know how we feel. The best way to make sure is to tell them and show them!
Breath Prayer: LORD God, pour out your love.