The Back To Eden Movement

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Let’s get naked.

I mean it.  Let’s get naked. Let’s go back in time…back before this moment:

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.  –Genesis 3:7

Let’s spit out the forbidden fruit, and tell the serpent to talk to the hand, and hang out in some place — any place other than next to that infernal tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Who’s with me?

Let’s choose not to Fall this time.  Let’s stay innocent and happy.

Let’s frolic in the garden, and maybe name some more animals, and just be there with God.

And if that means giving up our free will, and never growing and branching out and using all the knowledge we have in our brains, it’s a small price to pay. Right?

I mean, I look around and I see so much misusing of that ole Free Will.  Don’t you?

Maybe we’d be better off without it.

And so… you get to hear it here first:

I’m officially launching the Back To Eden Movement!

And in the next breath, I’m announcing that the Back To Eden Movement is closing down.

You see, for every time I get exasperated and despairing, for every time I throw up my hands and say, “I give up, God…put me back in the Garden, and reset me, and I’ll be your devoted robot”

For every time I say that, I immediately remember that Christ came to THIS world, with all it’s messiness, with a message of Love and Hope, Salvation and Service.

Stripped naked of all pretenses and ulterior motives and sinful behaviors, Christ revealed to us the core of human living.

Christ modeled for us a way of life that works in THIS life.  It’s not always easy.  Sometimes it’s downright painful.

But Christ showed us a way of life based on using our God-given abilities and gifts in the service of the Kingdom.

No Eden required.

When I long for a more innocent world, for a simpler existence, I need only affirm my discipleship to Jesus, and I calm down.

We may not need to head Back To Eden — maybe couldn’t if we tried.

Instead, we are moving toward the Kingdom.  (A New Eden?)

where Clothing ourselves in Christ…

Is probably not optional. 🙂

 

Have a great week,

Mitch

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Low Hanging Allergies

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There you are, in the middle of the Garden of Eden.

It’s beautiful here!

Ah, but there, in the distance, is the tree of the knowledge of good evil.

God has told you you must not eat of this tree, or you will surely die.

You walk over to the tree, and there, dangling from it, in all their glory…

are Green Peppers.

Green Peppers?  Well, yes– if you’re my mom reading this, anyway.

Maybe for you the tree offers peanuts.  Or wheat.  Or shellfish.

Here’s my new theory:

I think the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (or the TOTKOGAE, as I like to call it) is filled with whatever food you’re allergic to or intolerant of.

Can you imagine?  There, right in the center of your otherwise beautiful life, this display of things that will make you sick?  Taunting you to try just a little.

(When the food itself taunts you, who needs a serpent?)

By the way, this devotion sprang to my mind as I contemplated the food I ate yesterday.  Among other things, I had peanuts, fish, wheat, gluten, eggs, sugar, onions, green peppers, and plenty of dairy.  My diet yesterday could have knocked out more than a dozen people I know.

I guess I’m lucky not to be plagued by food allergies, but I realize what a constant strain they can be on people I care about.

For some, having a food allergy/intolerance means just being a little more selective about what they eat.

For others, it requires a meal-by-meal hyper vigilance.

For some, the consequence of taking a bite off of the “fruit” of that tree is an upset stomach or a rash or an itchy nose.

For others, it’s an epipen or a trip to the ER.

No matter the severity of the reaction, the question that comes to my mind is, “Why, God, did you make all this cool edible stuff, and then make it dangerous to eat?”

Well, I think science may have an elaborate and detailed theory about why food allergies develop across cultures and centuries. My theological answer is somewhat simpler:

Everyone interacts with our world a little differently, but God interacts with each of us in the same way.  God loves us, and wants us to have a full experience on this planet.

Maybe God put up the TOFTKOGAE to remind us of the need to live within our individual limits, that joy comes from living deliberately and wisely.

That’s a good notion for all of us…

And you know what?

If Adam and Eve had taken the time to find out that they were allergic to apples,

It might have been a little easier,

to resist temptation.

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