The Lesson of Adam and Eve
(Posted June 3, 2021)
Among the things I love about Church School is how kids interpret the Bible stories we tell them. Like when they drew pictures of and Adam and Eve leaving Paradise in the Garden of Eden. When their drawings were pinned up on the board, everybody wondered about one of a stretch limousine with two people in the back and a white-haired guy behind the wheel. “Oh,” the young artist explained. “That’s God and he’s driving Adam and Eve out of the Garden.”
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The Futility of Hiding from God
The Adam and Eve story is actually as old as time itself. We humans are living in the best of God’s creation, wanting for nothing, unclothed but comfortable in our own skin. And then, of course, we mess up, ignoring the warning signs God has given us, in a bid for a little power. In an instant, we become self-aware, not of the gift that we were made by God, but of our nakedness. In the next moments, we try to hide our guilty selves from God … as if THAT were even possible. It was in the Garden of Eden, however that we began to perfect the art of blaming others for our own shortcomings, whether the target is the woman, or the snake. (The guy is never blamed, of course.)
The truth is, God never sought to inflict a “guilt trip” on humanity. God knows that guilt is an unproductive emotion, whereas confessing our shortcomings to ourselves can positively change how we conduct our lives. But it is far easier to ignore the truth of our broken places. When the going gets tough, as it has for virtually everyone over the past year, the last person we tend to forgive is US. When we fail to “solve the problem,” to handle stress the way we think we ought to, depression and anxiety can follow. But God never intended this. Before the forbidden fruit was consumed, God had a message for humans: “You are Enough just as you are.”
What It Means to Be 'Enough'
How far we’ve strayed from The Garden! A click on the Internet or TV affirms this. IF only you weren’t so fat. If only your face didn’t need tons of makeup to look more perfect. IF only you were braver and didn’t feel scared. If only you were younger, or richer, or married, or whiter, or anything other than the real you. Funny how the message never is, “if only you realized you are Enough.” Even Jesus finds himself criticized by others for being who he really is in this week’s Gospel.
This Sunday join us as we explore what it means to be “enough” in the eyes of God and, hopefully, to find the forgiveness we need to bring us inner peace.