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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. 


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