We are all Adam

The Garden of Eden
Image via Wikipedia

We are Adam.  We are Eve.  All of us.

None of us have lived up to our potential.  None of us have always trusted God.  None of us have followed his rules.

There are people who say that Adam was one man and Eve was one women.

There are others who say that they represent us all.

We lose something if we choose either of these options.

There is a mystery to be embraced here: because both of those statements are true. __________________

eigth meditation

Obviously most people, through out the history of the faith, have not made the connection I have.  They have not linked these two specific events together in the same way that I have.

And yet, you can’t meditate on the death of Jesus for very long before you come to realize several lessons from it.

You realize that God can be hurt.  And that he was hurt.  Deeply and brutally.

You realize that this hurt was caused by human kind’s foolishness.

You realize that this hurt caused a separation between God and man.

Perhaps most importantly, you realize that this hurt and separation are not the end of the story.

All these realizations are waiting for us in the story of the Garden of Eden.

When it came to the coverage of the fall of the World Trade Center, it got to the point that I thought it was too much.  Sensationalistic.  Unnecessary.  I was sick of it and I didn’t see that it was helping anybody to watch it over and over and over again.

This is where the comparison with the crucifixion begins to fall apart.

Because it was vital that God shared with us this replay of what had gone on before.  When my kids do something wrong, the only way that things can be made right is when they realize what they did was wrong.  If we don’t address the depth of the hurt they caused I am not doing my duty as a father, I am not paving the way for true forgiveness and reconciliation.

There is, of course, so much more to the crucifixion.  And some of this is mystery. But it is a mystery that is illuminated by the truth that Jesus death was a replay of Adam’s betrayal in the Garden of Eden.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

3 thoughts on “We are all Adam”

  1. i’m not sure i fully get the WTC analogy.
    Are you saying that we should or shouldn’t be shown a replay of our sins, God’s hurts?
    i hope you weren’t gratuitously jamming that in there because it was on your mind.
    It isn’t clear what else you’re “sick of” that makes this analogy work.

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  2. I was looking for a connection from our every day lives, that a tragic event might get replayed as we attempt to grasp the fullness of what has happened. My whole “this is where the analogy falls apart” statement was an attempt to express the idea that the important difference is that we need a replay of our sin. We didn’t, by the end, need more replays of the WTC falling.
    I guess I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it’s gratitious.

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  3. I think, by the way, that if you read the preceeding post, “Replays” there might be a fuller explanation of the whole WTC thing… That’s probably an error on my part, assuming that somebody has read a prior post. Actually, though, I’ve been posting for the last month a string of posts that are all fairly interconnected.
    In fact, I think they’ve become a book.
    And now that I think about it, I’d love for your commentary, critique, and criticism… Any time/interest in critiquing my manuscript, Garret? It’d probably be easier if I emailed it as an attachment (in fact, I’ve revised some from the versions posted here at Jeff’s Deep Thoughts)

    For that matter, Jenn, if you’re reading, I’d love for your insight and commentary if you’re interested and have the time.

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