Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Salvation History in 30 Seconds (and re-enacted by bunnies)

This breeze through Salvation History is just to make sure we are all on the same page.
Salvation History is God’s repeated attempts to reach out to humanity and gather us back to Himself.

We are like chicks scurrying about the farm and God is like the farmer trying to gather us in to safety. We stray, going our own way, but He never tires of reaching out to us.

Adam & Eve – here’s where it all begins. They sin by choosing their own will over the will of God, and thus suffer the two consequences of sin: Separation and Death. Way to go guys, blow it for the rest of us! Actually, this original sin is part of all of us. We all have this natural tendency to choose our own will over that of our Creator. (St. Augustine called this concupiscence).

Noah – God uses a ship (a later symbol of the Church) to save the righteous and he uses water to cleanse the earth of sin (a later symbol of baptism).

Abraham – God makes a 3-part promise to this old and righteous man:
1. He will bear a son even though he is old - Isaac
2. He will be the father of many nations
3. He and his descendants will inhabit a blessed and Promised Land that God will show him.

Jacob – son of Isaac, grandson of Abraham. Jacob spends a night wrestling with an Angel of the Lord. His name is changed to Israel and he has twelve sons.

Joseph – favored son of Jacob, he is sold into slavery by his brothers. Joseph rises to a position of great influence in Egypt, overseeing the distribution of food during a famine. Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt seeking food. They are reconciled and the Hebrews relocate to Egypt.

A new pharaoh rises to power and has a strong dislike for the Hebrews and a fear that they will overthrow Egypt. He enslaves them, and then orders the death of their firstborn males. Out of this crisis comes Moses, who was raised by the pharaoh’s daughter after being found in a basket on the river Nile.

Moses – was the liberator of Israel from slavery in Egypt. On the journey back to the Promised Land, God gives Moses 10 Commandments, the cornerstone of His Law for Israel.

Israel recaptures the Promised Land and then enters a period when it is ruled by charismatic leaders called Judges, then the creation of a monarchy with the first true king, David. During this period God continues to speak to the Israelites through Prophets – mouthpieces of God who generally preach a message of mercy, justice, fidelity and a call to abandon religious legalism in favor of the spirit of the Law.

Israel suffers exile in Babylon, followed by foreign occupation by the Romans. The hope of Israel is placed in the Messianic Promise – that is the message of the Prophets that God will send a Messiah to save Israel.

Messiah means “anointed one”. In Hebrew society there were three groups who were anointed:
1. Priests – the temple priests who performed animal sacrifice
2. Prophets – those chosen by God to be his mouthpiece
3. Kings – the descendants of David
Christ embodied all three of these roles, but not in ways the Israelites of his day expected.

Isaiah – one of the Major Prophets, he preached the coming of a Messiah who would be a Suffering Servant. See Isaiah 53. Though he was to be a great liberator, he was also to be one who laid down his life for others.

Jesus – The central point of Salvation History, Christ is the fulcrum upon which human salvation hinges.
1. Public Ministry: all of his preaching, miracles, and healings. They all point to the Kingdom of God.
2. Paschal Mystery: the Suffering (Passion), Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus. These are the sacrificial and salvific actions of Christ, those that bring about our salvation.

Jesus established the Church on the Foundation of the Apostles and sent the Holy Spirit to guide it. The Church will be the subject of the next post: Ecclesiology. Until then,
Ad Jesum per Mariam,
Mr. B

1 comment:

Jordan said...

The link for the bunnies doesnt work. :(