Today’s Reading : Genesis 3: 8-15
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
The beginning of Advent is one of my favorite times of year. It’s the anticipation of the renewing of our spirit and of our faith. It is excitement for the renewing of hope and joy. It is the renewal and refreshing of our relationships. It is a time of reflection and introspection into ourselves and our relationship with God.
In this particular passage of the day I see it through a different lens. I’ve had a paradigm shift since reading these passages from being a young boy to a young man and now a husband and a father.
As I’m reading the third chapter of Genesis and the fall of man, I can revert to the old Lynden and “Just try to get through it” or ask the Spirit to allow me to see it in a different perspective. Now as I have matured, I can see the deeper side of the true story.
The setting is ten years into the future: I come home after a day at work and Jillian is not home but the kids are at home. Oliver,19, Ruby,16, and Nadya,15. I know that they are home because I had contacted him before I left work to make sure that they had the dinner started and chores completed. As I come to the house I called out to all of them. The food is in the oven and the chores are done, but they are nowhere to be found. As I search the house I call for them but no one answers.
I find them in the attic where they have found the mother’s wedding dress. Ruby and Nadya tried to put the wedding dress on and have destroyed the wedding dress. Oliver is trying to help them mend the dress. They are all distraught; they are all crying; they are all sad. I look at them with heartfelt sympathy and remorse. Their actions have created a painful and disappointing error. But this is created an opportunity for love and compassion and redirection. I give them their consequence: They have to tell their mother that they have destroyed her wedding dress. The have to deal with the consequences of their actions, but I will continue to give them the needed love and support that they need.
This is an example that I think many people can relate to. This is essentially what has happened to Adam and Eve in the garden. Our loving Father has come to fellowship with his children. When He comes, they are ashamed of what has happened and remorseful. God knows what is going, and he asks a simple question. This question is inquisitive and without any punitive tones or condemnation. He is asking because he loves them. He already knows what has happened he wants us to come to him and take responsibility for what has happened.
Many times I’ve seen this scene as a wrath of God or wrath of a malevolent father. But now I can really see the gentleness and the sorrow in which He sees that his beautiful creation has changed. But the most amazing thing that I am able to understand now is His love and compassion for us. He sees how this circumstance creates an opportunity for change. God with all his power, all his wisdom, and all his might could’ve easily wiped the slate clean and create a new world with new people and have “Paradise” once again. But he understood that no matter how “perfect” anything is there has to be a balance. He knew that there was have to be a balance between the light and dark, chaos and order, love and apathy.
Advent is the expectation and anticipation of the newness of life. But Advent is also showing God’s purpose and God‘s love for us. He knew that the perfect world in which we to live it had to be balanced. That’s why he knew from that moment of the fall, Christ will come to balance the world and us. He knew that to change in the absence of suffering, we would not truly appreciate and understand the fullness of his love.
Because of his fatherly love, he knew the only way that we could I understand our part in his love was to allow us to go through the hard times, but He will be there with us in those hard times. To the point where he himself came down in the form man as Christ.
My prayer for this Advent season is that God is with us, showing us with his Fatherly love He’s there with us in every and any circumstance. Creating pockets of Opportunity and that His love has a purpose and a plan. He spoke it into existence that the Offspring would trample the serpent under his heel. We have to acknowledge that Christ has prevailed and given us that power.