Read: Genesis 4:1-16

And the Lord said, “What have you done?” (v. 10)

When I was a kid, I orchestrated a clever plot to steal money. I was a member of the yearbook committee, and when I would return the cash box holding the day’s sales, I would reach in and take a few bills. Initially, the euphoria of my successful scheme drowned out the voice of my conscience. However, over time, I felt a sense of dread about what I had done and offered a tearful confession (and the money) to the principal.

Cain is introduced to us as a “worker of the ground” who has presented an offering to God that was rejected. God outlines the terms of a successful offering, but instead Cain angrily strikes his brother Abel and kills him. Initially, Cain probably did not regret the murder of his younger brother. But God comes to Cain and confronts him with the reality of his action, asking, “What have you done?”

It would do well for us to look around at the world we have constructed and ask ourselves the same question: “What have we done?” Every day, we are confronted with reports of global poverty, widespread war, corporate sexism, and institutional racism. It is easy to become desensitized to the struggles that millions live with on a daily basis. Perhaps now is the time to evaluate the world that we have been given as stewards and commit ourselves to creating a better future. —Duane Loynes

Prayer: God, let us be agents of your peace. Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.