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To dust you will return

by davesandel on February 13th, 2021

Saturday, February 13, 2021              (today’s lectionary)

To dust you will return

Where are you? Adam, where are you? Adam? Adam hid, but then he answered, “I was afraid of you, because I was naked.”

God couldn’t believe his ears. His sweet created man had changed completely and become self-centered, defensive and afraid.

Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree I forbid for you.

And the man made his third mistake of the day.

The woman WHOM YOU PUT HERE WITH ME, she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.

Oh, boy, what a dumb move that was. Can’t you just admit your own mistake, Adam? First you eat the fruit, then you hide from God, and now you blame Him and the woman for what you did? I think you are in trouble now, boy.

Eve was standing with Adam in the garden when God came. And he turned to her.

Why did you do such a thing?

Whereupon Eve made the same defensive move as Adam, and passed the buck to the serpent.

The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.

There was not much else for God to say. His children had turned away from him in disobedience and then denial. God was determined not to allow them to live their new lives of subterfuge and shame forever. He called each of the culprits into his office and gave them their penance.

To the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and theirs. He will strike at your head while you strike his heel.”

God is not speaking as a naturalist here. The serpent (aka the devil or Satan) will harass us constantly, but when we turn back to our Father he will be killed.

To the woman: “In pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire will be for your husband. And he shall be your master.”

I’ve always kind of wondered why women are attracted to men. We are usually not that attractive or charming. We usually have too much hair. We are often determined to control everything around us (including our wives), whether or not we should. Even our brains are wired to be focused and persistent, rather than creative and communicative. We want reports, and our wives want rapport. Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus.

But here we have it. God said it, so it has been done. Your desire will be for your husband.

And that’s true even when the husband is gone all the time foraging, hunting, making money or making whoopee:

To the man: “Cursed be the ground because of you. In toil shall you eat its yield all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you … by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food.

And to them all: “You will return to the ground, since from it you were taken. For dust you are, and to dust you will return.”

Then God turned to the angels with the decision of the Council of the Three in One.

He stationed the cherubim, and the fiery revolving sword, to guard the way to the tree of life.

God clothed us with leather garments made from animal skins, although we were only expected to eat the plants. And he made it clear that nothing would be the same after their disobedience.

He has become like one of us, knowing what is good and what is evil. Therefore he must not be allowed to put out his hand to eat from the tree of life as well, or he would live forever. Thus the Lord God banished him from the garden of Eden to till the ground east of the Garden.

This ejection was more than geographic. We lost our perspective. We are no longer aware of our eternal-ness. Because of this we dread death and fail to transcend time.

A thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night. Teach us to number our days aright … return, O Lord, how long? Have pity on your servants!

Jesus returned eternity to us. While he was here he gave us bread and fish, then when he had gone he provided his own body for us to eat, and be made whole, and live forever.

Jesus heart was moved with pity. “For three days they have been with me and have nothing to eat.”

He took seven loaves and made them seventy thousand. But far more, in three days Jesus opened the gates of Eden and called us to come in … although with the same rule as before. “Follow me. Love God and love your neighbor. Just don’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

I will eat the bread, but I’m not sure how to follow that ancient rule now that I’ve been outside and seen a bit of the world. Still, there is no other goal worth seeking.

(Genesis 3, Psalm 90, Matthew 4, Mark 8)

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