lent 1a: reclaiming the vision

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Lectionary / Old Testament / Pentateuch

Sunken West Virginian Boat The version of the Creation in Genesis chapter 1, as we know, shows a remarkably ordered world, with an unfolding plan of creation that springs forth from the words of our Creator God. There is a place for everything, and everything is in it’s place.

The creation story in Genesis chapters 2 and 3 is a little different. God is still creator, but he’s hands-on, digging in the earth and collaborating with others in the naming process.

This second creation story marvelously shows the world as God intended it to be.

God intended humanity to live with him, interacting with intimately and frequently. God intended us to be good stewards of the creation he brought forth. (A good argument can be made that we were intended to live as vegetarians, eating from every tree and plant in the Garden…) And, we were apparently welcome to eat from the Tree of Life, from whose fruit we would enjoy the power of eternal life.

And tragically, the story shows those intentions come crashing down and shattering on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The world was meant to be a certain way. And we weren’t able to manage that way for more than a chapter and a half. And a good argument can be made that the rest of the Bible, and human history, is us dealing with the consequences.

And, those consequences were the result of choice.

The second creation story in Genesis clearly shows humanity’s choice in abandoning the ordered way that God intended for us in favor of something a little different.

And, choices have consequences.

The same is true today. We still make choices.

In The United States of America over 20% of children live in poverty. Over 50 million Americans live in food-insecure households, including over 17 millions children. And household with children report nearly double the rate of food insecurity than those without children. (These are 2009 stats from feedingamerica.org)

Abroad, these figures tragically bloom. Worldwide, 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day. That’s less than $500 a year. Every day 24,000 children die due to hunger, or hunger related causes.

Now, ten years ago, it was 40,000 children a day, so we’re certainly moving in the right direction. But, even one child dying of hunger is one too many.

God created the world to be a certain way.

This isn’t it.

It was supposed to be beautiful, free, and full of plenty. And, while there are corners of the world where that is true, there are too many places where darkness, disease, and death reign.

The way of Jesus restores the original vision of Eden. It’s why the resurrection took place on a Sunday – the first day of the week. The first day of creation, when God said let there be light and the tomb was empty. It’s why St. Paul said that “in Christ there is a New Creation.”

On the day of resurrection all the morning stars sang together with all the heavenly host (Job 38:7), just as they did at the first dawn.

And, it’s up to Jesus’ followers to take up his way, and make more and more corners of the world where the resurrection shines forth. Bringing light to the darkness, hope to the hopeless, and food to the hungry.

Trampling down sin, tilling in the Garden, digging our hands in the clay and mire, and following the example of our Creator-God.