Genesis 3-4; John 2; Psalm 3-4
From our first readings – with the declaration that ‘it was very good’ – our reading from Genesis enters highly ambiguous territory.
The Choice is made to eat from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. There are many ways that this can be understood, but in part it becomes clear that living in a world of ‘freedom of choice’ is not all we are constantly taught it is nowadays.
Through Choice, the Man and the Woman find themselves in a world where nothing is at all easy, plain sailing, happy. The ground will only yield its fruit through toil and sweat, new birth will be accompanied by pain, and there will be war between the offspring of the serpent and the Woman
But even in the midst of the Worst that this choice brings forth, the murder of Abel – it becomes evident that God will continue to work, and in mysterious ways. Life is not simple and God’s actions in the protection of Cain suggest that for all our choices look like either Good or Evil – God is at work to transform the outcome of even the worst of human choices.
So one comes who will transform the worst that humankind can do into the finest wine. We hear an echo in these readings of Josephs words to his brothers. We cannot see a way though, a way of hope in the darkness we often choose, yet ‘Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good’
We are not the Great players on the Stage we believe we are, indeed the stage itself is impossibly being rebuilt in and through Christ, The Player . . .
The Psalms throughout are prayers in the midst of this ambiguity and adversity – and we should be very very slow to take from them by prissy editing as some are wont to do, lest in the midst of this ambiguity we have nothing to pray
Psalm 4 is one of the evening Psalms – in the midst of it all, in the midst of all or flawed, ambiguous and even evil choices, we remember that this story is not ours, but Gods
‘I will lay me down to sleep and take my rest, for it is thou Lord only that makest us dwell in safety’