Adam and Eve were in the garden butt naked. Fully clothed in Gods holiness. Fully secure in who God said they were. Walking with the father. Entertained by the spirit. Conversing with Jesus. No insecurities. No comparisons. No jealousy. Just good old-fashioned united and beautiful love and purity.
When you step back from the story a little, it makes absolutely no sense that the two humans believed the snake. The goodness of God should’ve been clear enough to be truth and love rolled into one. But as child-like innocents, what reason did they have to be suspicious? What reason did they have to question anything in the garden.
They had never had their hearts broken – so had no reason to wonder if this was just another sleazy guy trying to get into their pants, leaving them violated. They had never been stolen from. They had never been insulted, never met a sarcastic comment followed by laughter, had never been lied to. So why would it start now? Yes they didn’t check with the God they knew and loved, but at that stage they didn’t have reason to either.
Fast forward a few millennia. Standing on a hill 11km from one of Australia’s largest ports and therefore – largest importer of prostitutes and illicit drugs and paraphernalia, I exist amidst the story of humanity rife with disappointments. I am suspicious of everything, i ask why of every person, principle, commandment. I am cynical, I am a self-appointed judge of quality. And I know exactly who the devil is. I know his ways and his means to get me to believe lies.
And yet – in the midst of all my questioning i still find myself often,
believing death, and following after it.
In a way i am in a much more informed position then Adam and Eve. I am not naked. I am very insecure and fearful. BUT, I live 2000 years after Christ came to earth to complete the adoption process planned before the beginning of earths existence. I have read the story of Jesus many times. I have lived 27 years of Jesus fuelled joy and love.
I have conversed with God. In many ways i have walked with him, as i have had the privilege of sharing the good news and have seen healing in the bodies and minds of the restless. I have created with God and experienced his forgiveness time after time.
And yet i still
hide behind clothes of comparative thought from an un-renewed mind.
What stops me from ripping off my clothes and walking around completely naked, so that everyone can see who I really am?
So that i see who I really am.
So that God can get at me more through a repentant and humble heart?
We live in the garden of Eden. Christ saw to that when he crucified all of humanity on the cross and commanded us to pull heaven down to earth. And the only thing stopping us from coming out from hiding and taking off our clothes is our FAITH and TRUST in that.
If we all knew who God made us to be.
If we all trusted that God was who he says he is.
If we trusted that God made others to be them.
If we knew why we are here.
If we held to the truths of Gods power in us and through us.
We can live, fully, in the garden of Eden RIGHT NOW.
The gospel message of Jesus Christ isn’t an insurance policy of “just incase i die”.
It is not a message of an angry father that needed Christ to bleed so that God would stop hating us.
GOD NEVER HATED US. – Jesus changed US.
From being not adopted, to being adopted.
From being lost, to being found.
From being dead to being ALIVE in the family of God.
The gospel message is not one of fear, or domination, or judgement, or assimilation. For none of these things are GOOD NEWS.
The gospel message is one flooded with hospitable love and belonging.
See the garden around you.
And walk out of the bushes and into the life and light of our beautiful loving creator.
It’s a nice place.