today's reading is from Genesis 3:1-4:26, Matthew 2:13-3:6, Psalm 2:1-12, and Proverbs 1:7-9
once again there is much to see in today's readings. so much depth and richness packed into just a few verses, especially in Genesis.
whether the story of the serpent tempting Adam and Eve is strictly, literally true (I think so) or metaphorical and mythic, it is a very clear picture of what happens when we sin. when we turn away from what we know is right, and do wrong, we see the effects very clearly played out in the story.
shame. hiding. lying. blaming. fear. pain. sorrow. banishment. losing the joy of the presence of God.
these things are evident, they're so obviously true. we see these things play out in the lives of children. when they've done wrong, they hide. they lie. they're ashamed. they're afraid. if they 'fess up, admit they've done wrong, and learn from it, they come back into a good and happy relationship with their parents.
but if they persist in their wrongdoing, and keep hiding it, and lying about it, and being ashamed of it.... it continues to hurt their relationship with their parents, and could eventually destroy it altogether.
we don't know for sure what all led to the murder and beheading of the mother in Florida, whose son admitted he did it because she was nagging him about putting some boxes in the attic. but you can bet their relationship was not a good one. and you can count on the fact that this problem had been growing for years. because someone refused to fix it, to own up to it, to forgive.
in the NT reading, John is telling everyone to repent and be baptized. in simple terms, John is saying "look, everyone. something amazing is going to happen really soon, and you're not ready for it. you need to get things right, forgive each other, own up to the things you've done, and get ready, because God is going to do something incredible in your lives. so get ready!"
God is telling us the same thing today. He is ready to do some amazing things in our lives this year. we need to put away the shame, guilt, fear, lying, hiding, and blaming that are going on in our lives due to the things we've done wrong, and get ready for the amazing work that He is ready to do for us this year.
let's get ready.