Saturday, 12 March 2011

A messy garden

Tomorrow's Old Testament reading tells the story of Adam, the first man and Eve, the first woman being tempted by the serpent to disobey God - and of them giving in to that temptation. And of God reacting badly to their disobedience by sending them out of the garden. It is one of those stories that folk learn early on if they are going to learn any Bible stories. But what do we make of it? And this weekend, in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and the resultant Tsunami, how can we square the notion of an angry, distant God with the God of love whom we proclaim in church? Wouldn't a loving God intervene to avert tragedy on  a personal and global scale?Wouldn't a God of love take better care of creation? Wrap us up in cotton wool and protect us?
The question is - what kind of God do we want to believe in - the magical kind who directs operations from afar, keeping us safe by strait jacketing us? Or a God who deals with REAL life who supports creation through every tragedy and, in the face of disaster is the one shedding rivers of tears for the creation so beloved of God.
The God who keeps a rosy garden or the God who dwells in a messy garden?


Dot said...

How did you know I was struggling with the notion of disobedience today?
A distant director of operations....or a God that gets down and dirty to meet with us where we really are?
Messy Garden God for me every time!
Thanks! Dx

Songbird said...

It's funny, if we read a story like that in any other culture's tradition, we know it's a myth, right? A folk tale that attempts to explain how we got into the predicament of being human and what the people of long ago thought about where God was in all of it. But when people read it in Genesis, they invest it with the weight of fact, which for me misses the whole point. Garden God, yes.

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