Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Advent Day 4

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”  - Genesis 3:8-15

The coming of Jesus wasn’t just a chance event. God didn’t suddenly say, “I think I’ll try being a human for a while and see what happens,” or “I think I’ll have Jesus get some real-world experience.” The stage for Jesus’ coming was set back in the creation story when God created human beings and endowed them with minds capable of questioning, thinking and understanding. With that came the possibility of willfulness and faulty logic, but that was a risk God felt was right to take, or so I see it.
Adam and Eve had it all: a lush garden that provided all their food, animals and birds to entertain and amuse them, even a God to walk with them and talk about things like we would with a best friend. Yet in one fateful moment, all that was shattered and women have borne the brunt of responsibility ever since. One moment of faulty logic, gullibility even, and everything was ruined. To be fair to Eve, though, when you are in a perfect place and time, and you have had no experience with guile, temptation, and deceit, you don’t really expect it. Eve was, in a way, as innocent as a young child and, as such, fell prey to a glib-tongued snake.

Thus began the need for Jesus to come to Earth as the ultimate redeemer. We call it “Salvation History” and we remember it every year at the Easter Vigil. It is also something to ponder during Advent because without an inciting event, there would be no need for Easter, Christmas or even Advent. We also need to stop and remember our own inciting events, things we have done or not done, thought or not thought, believed or not believed, that have caused us to lose our innocence and our direction as God’s people.

Perhaps this Advent reading is a call for us to reflect and remember along with repent and re-order our lives in a more Godward direction. It sounds like another way to prepare for the coming of Jesus. We clean the house in preparation for guests, why not clean our hearts and minds in preparation for the very special one to come?

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