Just got back from a wonderful weekend in Suffolk. It was a youth retreat in a nice house surrounded by endless meadows. We escaped the busy Cambridge life to pause and meditate on the first chapters of Genesis. My friend Ugo and I led a small fellowship group and tried to mine the significance of this ancient text for our lives today.
We were struck by Enoch. Remember that mystery guy in Seth’s genealogy who did not die (Genesis 5:24)? The text just says “he was not”, because God took him! Why is it hard for Christians to accept the fact that some people did not die and were simply taken by God? Isn’t this what we expect to happen at Christ’s return? The dead will rise to life, but some will simply be “taken” alive. Is Enoch the precedent of the future “translation” to God’s presence?
Apart from this, I am struck by the continuity between Enoch’s life and death. The blurry boundaries between the two. There was no abrupt break. It was a “walk with God”, a walk all the way into God’s presence. And when the text says “he was not” when God took him, I wonder whether there was some continuity in this case as well. Perhaps he lived on this earth as if “he was not”, as if his existence was already “taken up” in God. Genealogies boring? Never!