Going Deeper 06.02.2021

The first reading for the second Sunday after Pentecost... Genesis 3:8-15

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

There is much that is of vital theological importance in this story.  

As the years have gone by, I have come to see that there are three key themes in the Bible, and two of them are initiated here: sin and grace.  Here we see what sin is and what sin does.  Ultimately, sin is self-centeredness.  Having been created in the image of God, humans were designed to be outwardly focused... which is why they did not perceive their own nakedness until after "the fall."  Now broken, humans are focused on themselves; and now instead of reveling in being reflections of God's image, humans become gods unto themselves.

And then we see what sin does... sin separates.  The man defends himself by blaming God and the woman.  The woman deflects the blame to the serpent.  Self-centeredness leads to self-protection, which leads to blaming (and soon attacking) others.  SIn divides, and to be divided is to be conquered.

But in His grace, God does not end the story right then and there.  Instead, He plants the seed of the Gospel of grace, promising an offspring who would one day strike and defeat the Evil One.  As God would soon cover the literal nakedness of the humans, God would also cover sin with grace.

With You in His Grace,

 

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"