Skip to main content

Root of Evil - Genesis 2:4-25

Our narrative lectionary reading for this week is from Genesis 2.  It is the story of the first people.  Adam, which means earth or dust, and Eve, which means living or to give life.  It is interesting to note that each term is stereotypical of gender norms.  Adam, the man, is ruddy and earthy.  Cut from earth and stone he is tough and gritty, but like the green man he is from and for the earth.  Eve is the breath of life, wispy and mysterious.  She is the essence of life, and from her comes new life.  Starting from the names themselves you can see the fingerprints of the symbolic story this is.  Was there a literal Adam and Eve?  I don't know, but the context of the story is communicating at least the possibility that this is a story of a different kind of truth.  In that ideal we will look at this story from that lens. 

This part of the Adam and Eve story is setting the background for the fall to come, but it is not wasted detail.  Note the state of life at the beginning.  They were set in the garden of God.  Planted by God, not them.  Food was at their fingertips and they had nothing to worry about.  They were surrounded by places of interest and lands to explore.  God helped Adam to find a partner, going to the length of creating one after Adam had named all of the other creatures.  It was after this first relationship that something happened.  In a bit of foreshadowing the scriptures end this section with the conclusion that they were both naked, and they felt no shame.

Symbolically they were in a place of great peace and abundance.  In that place they lived in truth, exposed to the world and each other.  Everything was out in the open, no secrets, all exposed.  In this state they felt no shame, no guilt.  Life was different. 

Do you remember a time in your life like that?  Are we not all little Adam and Eves?  I remember a time where I wandered in the home of my father.  I was sometimes naked.  I was honest and fully exposed.  I felt no shame.  Like Adam though, something happened and shame found it's way into my heart. 

When we consider the gospel, it is important we start with this story and the way we relate to it.  The true gospel must address this first problem.  In reconciliation it must bring us back to this place of no shame.  Anything less is not good news at all.  Are you ready to return to the state of full exposure, honesty, and shameless living?  The idea will either excite you or terrify you, and which it is reveals a great deal about your heart. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

Refusal to Return

The last cycle of The Hero's Journey begins with what Campbell calls "The Refusal of the Return".  In this stage the hero has finished their quest and won their award, but now they are faced with the idea of returning to their place of origin.  They struggle with the idea of leaving paradise, or sharing their wisdom with their old community.  After being changed so much, do they even still belong in the place they came from? In The Lord of the Rings, after Frodo has tossed the ring into the fire and the battle is won, he is so tired he wants to give up, there is nothing left driving him to return home, so he lays down and prepares to die.  Then, when the party regroups in Gondor, they linger there for a long time before each returns to their homeland.  Finally, when Frodo does return home, he is uncomfortable, he feels out of place, and wants to leave.  He has changed and realizes that he no longer belongs in the Shire.  After Christ's resurrection he met with Mary fi

The Return Threshold

  As we come near the end of our weekly series on the Hero's Journey, today we will cover "The Return Threshold".  In this stage, the Hero has succeeded in their quest and now they are coming back to their old world.  Joseph Campbell calls this the "ordinary world".   The return to the ordinary world usually includes some type of challenge.  Sometimes an enemy must be challenged, but sometimes the enemy is the ordinary world itself.  As we have followed the hero's journey we have seen the hero change, what was once important is no longer important.  While the hero has changed, the ordinary world has not.  The ordinary world holds values that the returning hero has abandoned for something greater.  This can cause tension as the hero tries to return as a changed person. In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we see the Hobbits finally return to their home in the Shire.  Unfortunately in their absence Saruman and his orcs have taken over the Shire and must be defeat