Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7 (click for full reading)
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
(Click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
This week we consider the ancient and familiar story of the Garden of Eden. We most often refer to the act of disobedience that took place there as “the fall of mankind.” But what we really see in this story, and so often in our own lives, is not so much a falling down from a high place, but an effort to storm upward, to storm heaven…
This one has always been a problem for us. There are boundaries that we are called to live within. Just because we may be capable of something does not necessarily mean we should do it. Whenever we begin to assume that there is no limit to our power and importance, we drift toward catastrophe.
As we saw when Jacob wrestled the angel, God is willing to wrestle with us, if it takes all night. In fact, he insists that we do so. God insists that we wrestle with him especially when it comes to those things we hold most dear, because God is trying to give us something better.
C.S. Lewis put it this way, “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, and Other Addresses
Questions to ponder or discuss:
1. Does the story the story of Adam and Eve sound like an ancient fable or does it continue to sound relevant for today?
2. Think of the people you know that you believe are living fulfilling lives filled with purpose and meaning. What do these people have in common?
3. In your own life, can you think of ways you may be settling for less than the abundant life God wants for you?
Lent is the perfect time to address these important issues. Make a commitment to engage with your community of faith during midweek and Sunday worship as we explore these deep issues together.