Adam, Eve and Us
Genesis 1:1-2:4a

Today we take a look at two people who played a pivotal role in God’s story, Adam and Eve.  We heard the story from the beginning when God created the earth and everything in it, and the culmination of that story was the creation of two people in the image of God.  They were created with a purpose, to have dominion over the earth and all its creatures, to care for it and for them and to live in relationship with God.

It seems that the creation of humans was the ultimate goal of creation, to give us somewhere to live and something to do while we are here, and to be around for God to love and care for. 

As we know, something happened in the Garden of Eden, it wasn’t covered in today’s readings, but we all know it so very well, Adam and Eve were tempted, they had seeds of doubt planted in their minds and they were seeking more, more than power over everything in the world, they were deceived and failed God.  Rather than being thankful to God for all of the amazing things he had created for them and given to them freely, they gave into the temptation of wanting and desiring more.

As soon as they did this, they were ashamed and ran away to hide, they covered themselves up with fig leaves and hid from their creator, the one who had brought them into being and provided for their every need.  That broke the perfect relationship that had existed, trust was gone, greed had blocked the way, sin had come into existence.

We live in the shadow of that sin, from that time forward all human beings have been born into that same sin, we are no different from Adam and Eve, we see our sin, we are ashamed, we run and hide, we seek more than what God has given us and we get angry and frustrated with him for not giving us everything that we want or desire.

Let’s think about the consequences of sin for a moment.  Sin causes us to hide, we hide who we really are, and we hide ourselves from God and even others who love us.

Do you remember playing hide and seek as a kid?  Did you have a great hiding place that your brothers and sisters or friends could never find you in?  We had a toy box that you could climb into and cover yourself over with soft toys and make it really hard to see you even if someone opened up the lid.  It was fun for a while but if everyone gave up looking for you the fun disappeared fairly quickly.  Sitting in the dark all by yourself isn’t that great is it?  And it’s probably even worse when you discover that your brothers and sisters and friends have gone on to do some other fun thing and left you there all by yourself.

Maybe some of you feel a bit like that in life, maybe you’ve hidden the real you away from others, maybe the burden of guilt over sin has caused you to hide your real self from your friends and family or co-workers, and maybe even deep inside you feel isolated from them and from God.  Here’s the good news, no matter how hard we may try to hide from God, unlike people, he will never stop calling out to us, calling us to return to him and telling us that we are forgiven.  He created us to be with him and to care for his creation, and through his Son Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit has promised to remain with us til the end of the age.  There is no effective way of hiding from God. 

What about the other aspect of sin that I mentioned?  What about being thankful to God for what he has given us?  I know some people in the congregation have been reading the book, “One Thousand Gifts”, and I’ve started reading it too.  From what of read so far it is about shifting the emphasis in our lives from the negative, from wanting more than God has given us, from questioning God and being angry with him, to seeing where God is active and giving and being thankful for it.

We heard in the creation account that God created absolutely everything we would ever need, and then came sin, and what God had given us suddenly wasn’t enough.  It can be a sobering realisation when we take the time to reflect on even the small things that God gives us in life and actually, deliberately and purposefully give thanks for it.  When you do you realise how inward focussed you really are, how ungrateful and self-serving the human race is.

This week, in the midst of a trying and hectic week, I have deliberately forced myself to be thankful to God.  It shifts your focus fairly quickly, and after the initial guilt of having not been thankful earlier it is a wonderful blessing to experience thankfulness.  And it’s amazing what simple little things suddenly appear in your thought process that you can be thankful for!  Here’s a little example of two.  One morning last week as the rain was coming down and it was freezing cold, I stood at my doorstep and looked across to the hills, there was layer upon layer of different shades of grey, but it was simply stunning.  I grew up in an area that was virtually flat, and to see such beauty in the midst of a grey and otherwise daunting day was something to be grateful and thankful for.

On Friday night as I spent nine hours in a hospital emergency department I was able to reflect on the gifts that God has given the people who work there, they are often chastised or abused for not processing people faster, yet on the whole they are patient and polite, and do things to the best of their God given ability.  It helped me to remain calm and relatively patient in the midst of tiredness, hunger and frustration.

Thankfulness is a gift from God, the world around us is a gift from God, Adam and Eve, as greedy and tempted as they were, were gifts from God, put on this earth to care for it and to be in relationship with God.

We often fall short of what God truly desires for us, and focus on ourselves and fail to be thankful.  The best news is that God never leaves us or forsakes us, he is always with us and forgives us for all our sin, over and over again.  Something to be thankful for!