Adam & Eve in the garden of Eden were caught red-handed.. eating from the very tree among many in orchard that God had asked them to leave alone & having been “outed” we know well enough from our life..our poor life choices..Adams reaction..”it was the woman you put with me”.. ..& Eve threw hot potato into familiar territory “the serpent tempted me & I ate..” ..poor me , always the victim never the perpetrator
.. a moment now, & not a moment too soon, to wise up, come clean & admit to it..our fingerprints all over the 30 silver pieces , our teeth marks on the apple..
“I heard the sound of your voice in the garden” [the gardeners voice of blame or mercy? ] ; Lord have mercy “I was afraid because I was naked” [ stripped of pretence ] ; Christ have mercy “the serpent tempted me & I ate” [ third party theft ] ; Lord have mercy May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins & bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
“do you believe in the devil?” an evil being, a fallen angel, who instigates badness, infects each of us with virus far more threatening than ebola..incurable & aggressive.. imagine for moment how distraught you’d feel if you knew there was an innoculation which would have prevented you from being infected, & you chose not to ask for it.. “it could never happen to me could it?” & it did & tragically you infected others in your family who gradually realised they too had a terminal illness..is this not like our spiritual ailment/disease called sin? I’d like to suggest it isn’t given to us by the devil/ fallen angel but through our poor choices in the orchard or our indifference/apathy in doggedly avoiding all talk of an orchard..when we’ve been taught lovingly caringly carefully how to live life & faith healthily appropriately wholeheartedly, & we’ve chosen to eat very apple we’ve been cautioned to avoid..the misuse of free will..no woman nor devil to point finger towards but my own misappropriation of Gods gift to me & us, to live learn & to grow in a weave of life love & truth in an orchard, in this orchard called paradise..leave scribes & temple devotees to debate with David Dimbleby on Question Time about bogey men & burglars who steal property & identity..we are party to a faith that has gifted us self certificating responsibility..of standing up to be counted when we get it wrong instead of childishly waiting to be discovered found out..if I can make a confession now ; in my mis spent youth I was a keen trainspotter..vivid memories of smokey grimy marshalling yards full of lines of coal trucks & daubed roughly on side of many, in white paint one word “condemned” no longer fit for purpose..& now thankfully maturely honestly admitting to our own internal grimyness, many of us presently unfit for purpose, & self surrendering into the person & heart of Chrst, when we realise effects of our poor choices/infidelity on ouir loved ones, ourself & on Jesus..& we come home down road from spiritual equivalent to Donald Trumps rust belt, remorseful penitent, realising at last just what I put in jeopardy through my misbehaviour, leaving myself susceptible to deadly virus called sin..to come home to my spiritual companion Jesus, who was there alongside me/you each time we ate/tasted the forbidden fruit..& in guilt, self pity, low self esteem, gave way & fell into sourness, a slippery practitioner of blame game..”it was the woman you put me with”& this is the revelation best of good news..that Jesus loves us even more deeply because of it..in our human weakness, a one to one relationship ; him to you & no third party, & certainly no devil.. ..hence the wonderful ending of gospel where, if you read it with your spec saver varifocals spectacles on, it reads as if Jesus is putting down, humiliating, his mother brother & sister, keeping them at a distance sidelined & then publically voicing fact..as if the devil has got into him..however, read translate it with your divine spectacles on..he is trying to tell you & me we are as important to him as his mother brothers & sisters..we are not possessed by a devil, we are possessed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that makes us children of God, not slaves to a fallen angel..& “where’s the catch?” you ask suspiciously because nothing’s for free is it?..raised taught conditioned into a religion of compliance rather than a spirituality of protection..not data protection, which some are quick to ridicule, but person protection “I have called you by your name, you are mine.. you are precious in my eyes & I love you..you are the apple of my eye” an orchard called paradise & an apple to die for..you..& why haven’t you heard this fantastic news before?.. go home, forgiven encouraged empowered by the Holy Spirit,to live & enjoy life & faith with parity of esteem; Mary, the disciples, Mary Magdalen & you, equally loved needed & belonging..in phraseology of orchard & paradise, you are very best of crop varieties..a Yorkshire russet, randomly shaped, rough skinned but with flavour to die for..nothing like a Waitrose perfectly shaped unblemished tasteless golden delicious..leave Dimbleby scribes & devil to gripe on..sour in taste, slippery skinned, & sadly still some peoples choice..for us? “taste & see that the Lord is good”..very good.. [10thSunYrB;Mk3;20-35]