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Death in the turning, and then life again

by davesandel on February 12th, 2021

Friday, February 12, 2021                   (today’s lectionary)

Death in the turning, and then life again

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God had made, and the serpent asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?”

The serpent knew better, and the woman corrected him. But the serpent pressed his point.

You shall not die! God knows your eyes will be opened and you yourselves will be like gods.

The serpent was jealous and wanted to infect the woman with his jealousy. But she simply saw the tree for what it was.

She saw the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirably for gaining wisdom.

Sounds like a wise woman of the garden to me. But her husband had told her that God insisted they not eat from that particular tree in the middle of the garden.

She ate some of the fruit and gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it as well.

It wasn’t physical poison, but it must have mental and spiritual poison. In an instant everything changed. They saw immediately how foolish they had been, how wrong it was to disobey God.

The eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked, so they sewed together fig leaves and made coverings for themselves. And when they heard the sound of Yahweh walking in the garden he had made for them, the man and his wife hid themselves among the trees.

And so the symphony of creation becomes the cacophony of the fall. Harmonies of color and form fall into disarray. Those who had known no fear now know only fear, and those who had nothing to hide now hide even their bodies from each other. How deep must their shame have been! How deep must ours?

Blessed are they whose sins are forgiven.

But I cannot confess! I cannot admit! I cannot!

Then I did acknowledge my sin to you, and you took away the guilt of my sin. And now though deep waters overflow, they do not reach me. Once again you are my shelter, and you ring me round with glad cries of freedom. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.

Jesus came as the second Adam. He did not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He did not have to hide or defend himself from his Father. He was not ashamed of his body or his soul; therefore he was free from self-doubt and could channel his Father’s power and love to everyone who asked.

Jesus took a deaf man away from the crowd and put his finger into the man’s ears. Jesus spit and touched his tongue and groaned, “Ephphatha! Be opened!” So then immediately the man’s ears were opened and he both heard and spoke plainly.

Who is this man that looks like us but does all things well?

He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.

And he invites everyone to come with him to the Kingdom of Heaven. With one sweep of his hands he reopens the Garden of Eden. The angels bow to him and back away from the gate they have guarded since the man and woman’s fateful day of disobedience oh, so long ago.

(Genesis 3, Psalm 32, Acts 16, Mark 7)

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