It seems to be, just the way we are, and according to Genesis, the way we have been since the creation. However it came to be, in writings, or spoken by a sage storyteller around a campfire, the biblical picture of humanity is right on. Give us everything we need, and even more, but offer one prohibition; and that is the one thing we want the most. The forbidden fruit always seems the most succulent and most desirable.
God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat...”
Well the devil, in the guise of a serpent, said to the woman, “You will not die...” and guess who she believed. So, they both took a taste. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked...”
This story has rattled around in conversations for millennia. It has been used to blame snakes, and women, and even men who continually say, “Yes, Dear”
But what it is really stating is: From the very beginning, humans have had difficulty yielding to the desire and law of the Creator. We can’t seem to do what God requires, and instead thwart the will of God to satisfy our own wants and desires. With Adam, it was one exclusion. With Moses there were ten; and they were carved in stone, and eventually, with the temple in Jerusalem there were a couple of books full of rules and governances put forward telling people of how God wanted mankind to live.
And then God sent himself in the form of a child to show us, not tell us, how we were to act and live. It was this Jesus, the Son of God who grew into manhood, was Baptized by John, in the Jordan; went through the temptations of the Devil for 40 days, and survived his threats of wealth and power and kingdoms, that came and gave us examples of how God wanted us to live.
God wanted us to care for the widow and orphan; to lift up the downtrodden, to heal the sick, comfort the dying, to share with the poor, feed the hungry, give warmth and shelter from the cold, and love our neighbor as we would love ourselves. And, one other thing: To love God; because God loved us, immeasurably.
Some of us will now begin a season called Lent, wherein we will look at how well we love God, and how well God has loved us, always. AMEN
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.