Yesterday at church we heard a fascinating take on the Fall. There were several points that stuck in my head - maybe you will also find them thought-provoking:
- All in the Family:
From an African perspective, family relationships define most everything and the terms, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, etc. are used often in the broadest possible sense. There are, of course, rules, but I don't have time to explore the glories of anthropology right now. This sermon discussed the entire story of the Fall calling Eve 'our grandmother' and Adam 'our grandfather'. Putting them quite literally in our direct lineage brought the whole thing much closer to home.
- Not Even:
The pastor described 'our grandmother' telling the serpent what God's Word said about the forbidden fruit. She not only told the serpent the rule: 'not to eat' but exaggerated it: 'not even to touch'. Oh, how easy I find it to exaggerate! Guess it runs in the family... =) I know the absolute Truth, but I like to enhance it a little to make myself look better.
- Conflicted Desires:
The last thing that stuck with me, was his perspective on the curse our grandmother incurred. She was cursed with painful childbearing and the desire for her husband. I've always thought of that as a desire to be more powerful or controlling, but never that desire to be loved and needed beyond normal reasoning. He explained this curse as the reason we see a battered woman return to her husband again and again. Even if she is beaten and abused, she will come home. Even if her husband has been horrible and absent for a year or more, she will take him back. Yes, marriage should be preserved with forgiveness and perseverance, but this powerful desire to belong and be loved can make one do crazy things. I know there are times that I look to Kent to supply what only God can.
Well, I promised you 'several' things and gave you 'three'...
There I go with exaggeration again!