Light a Candle to begin your prayer:
Almighty God open my mind and heart to your word as I read of your gift of Unity Amen
Read Genesis chapter 4
Adam made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, ‘With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.’ Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.
Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. But Abel also brought an offering – fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favour. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.’
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let’s go out to the field.’ While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the Lord said to Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’
‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’
The Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.’
Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.’
But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.’ Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
Reflection on Bible Reading:
The first 11 chapters of Genesis are mythological, there is a great division between the time before Abraham and that after it. These various myths are extensions of the Adam and Eve myth, they discuss the nature of sin and human relationships. The first of these is the story of Cain and Abel. Basically this is a story of sibling rivalry, a story of envy between brothers. Cain kills Abel because he is envious of his relationship with God their Grandfather. This story occurs all the time in families everyone wants to be the favoured son, although people usually don’t kill each other over it. Because Cain is insecure in his relationship with God he becomes envious. The root of the sin here is how Cain feels about his relationship with God, if that was more secure perhaps he wouldn’t turn to violence. The fruit of the sin is the violence itself. What we have to do is get to know ourselves and find out where our insecurities are. Then ask God to heal them so that we can have more positive relationships. If we do that we will love ourselves more and therefore love our neighbours more. Remember love your neighbour as yourself.
Pray this prayer aloud:
the earth is full of the glory of your love.
May we your children, born of the Spirit,
so bear witness to your Son Jesus Christ, crucified and risen,
that all the world may believe and have eternal life
through the One who saves,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
now and for ever. Amen
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