This week we are concluding our story of Adam and the Fall. Last week we read through Genesis 2:15 (the serpent’s punishment). For this week, please read Genesis 3:16-24. Next week is Fat Tuesday (see below). For Lent, we will be reading Living His Story.
As we looked at two weeks ago, Genesis 3 is the archetype narrative of sin. All sin is a matter of temptation, desire, and consent. Likewise, sin causes us to hide, to blame, and to deflect responsibility. The consequence of sin ruptures the relationship, not only between a person and God, but between persons, and between a person and nature itself. Rebellion begets rebellion, and Adam’s rebellion against God leads to the earth’s rebellion against him. For this week, we will look at the final two stages of sin – rapprochement and expulsion.
The disobedience and the punishment cause a rupture in the relationship between the man and the women, and between the two of them and God. Despite this estrangement, there exists a measure of reconciliation. First, the man names his wife Eve which means life. (The Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture) renders her name as Zoe which is the same word that the New Testament uses for the fulness of life found in Christ.) Adam does not name his wife after what she did but of whom she will become – the mother of all humanity. The separation between them is closing.
Likewise, Genesis says that the Lord God clothed the man and his wife. They ate and became ashamed. God gives them a covering for their shame. God does not leave them alone in their shame but shows them mercy in their condition. God closes the separation that exists.
However, regardless of the rapprochement, the fruit cannot be uneaten. The natural consequences of the sin cannot be undone. Eden has been lost. The Lord God’s expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden confirms their loss of innocence. They now live in full consciousness of their mortality.
God must expel them from the Garden, and block them from accessing the Tree of Life. By eating of the Tree at this point, Adam and Eve will be forever stuck in this ruptured relationship. Also, by blocking access, God is telling them that the only way to change their mortal condition is by the restoration of the human-divine relationship and not by eating magic fruit. How this relationship gets restored is fleshed out in the remainder of the Scriptures.
March 1 is Fat Tuesday. We will be having savory waffles and wine and spirits here. There will be no lesson, only feasting. Anyone is free to join us. Please RSVP.
For Lent we will be reading the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2021 Lenten book: Living His Story by The Rev’d Dr Hannah Steele. We will have copies of the book available next Tuesday and on Sunday for $5.
Dinner is at 6:30. The menu is baked potato bar. Discussion about 7:15 followed by Compline.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, *Psalm 103:8-9, 13
slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us, *
nor will he keep his anger for ever.
As a father cares for his children, *