Messy Church is Wednesday September 15 and the doors open at 5pm. Our theme this month is Adam and Eve.
When we think of the story of Adam and Eve visions of conniving serpents, and sin and God’s anger and punishment traditionally spring to mind. This is not the story one would tell at bedtime to one’s children! Most of us have taken from this story a vision of God that is frightening. A God who condemns us to unending labour, painful childbirth, driven out of paradise and never allowed to return all because of one mistake! Still, we fared better then the serpent, at least we got to keep our legs! The theme of original sin has been stressed for so long that the signs of the loving God in this story have been virtually ignored. A loving God who delighted in the magnificence of creation and the creatures that God had created. There is the gift of free will given to God’s human creations so that they could choose to enter into a life-giving relationship with God. There is the lovely image of God coming in the cool of the evening to walk and talk with God’s human creations in the garden (Genesis 3:8-9). One can almost feel the delighted anticipation of that evening walk and God’s distress when Adam and Eve hid themselves from God. There is that passage of God making them clothes when God knows that they cannot be allowed to stay in the garden (Genesis 3:21) In my imagination I can see God carefully making Adam and Eve serviceable and warm clothes, tears in God’s eyes at what has happened and what is going to happen, and yet even in God’s profound disappointment and sorrow, God lovingly sews them clothes.
God sent them from the garden and I would suggest that it wasn’t because God was being mean or acting in anger. God had made a place where everything worked together perfectly, and it was wonderful. Everything was just the way God wanted it. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, they chose to do something different from what God wanted. Now everything wasn’t working together so perfectly and that messes up everything. So God had to send them out of the beautiful garden that God had made for them, and then, to protect that perfect place from the terrible thing sin can do, God put an angel on guard at its gate. When we choose to do what we want, instead of what God wants, we ruin the good things God has made for us. Even though Adam and Eve had sinned, God still loved them.