Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lent 1, Genesis—Tilling and Keeping

Genesis 2.15-17; 3.1-7

Dear God,

It’s me, Eve. Again.

It sounded like such a good idea, especially when the snake put it the way he did. Knowledge is a good thing, right? What could be the harm? And the snake….he was so good-looking and his words made me feel powerful. Tilling and keeping….it’s all so boring, and the snake was offering me something more—to really make something of my life.
But it hasn’t turned out so well, has it?—thinking I had the wisdom to rule the world has only brought us starvation, enslavement, pollution and war exploding all over the planet.

Look at what is happening in your part of the world today—we have made a mess of your good creation. Marchers in the square, guns and tanks on every corner.

In Bil’in, in the Judean hills, the bulldozers are still building the wall, cutting the village off from its farmlands. Tomorrow, after Friday prayers, the people will march from the mosque, out onto the road, past the memorial to Bassem Abu Rahma, killed by Israeli soldiers firing a tear gas canister in 2009. Photo shows Bassem flying a kite in protest against the separation barrier around Bil'in, in July 2008.

The protesters will be joined by Israeli supporters, working to free their country from the tyranny of militarization and occupation, and by peacemakers from all over the world, with a dream to free Palestine from M-16s, the boots of Israeli soldiers hitting the ground and tear gas canisters.

They will march to the wall, singing freedom songs, waving hopeful Palestinian flags—middle-aged men, old women, young mothers carrying babies, young men wearing the traditional Palestinian kuffiyeh and the young boys, who will pick up handfuls of stones from the road and throw them, in a protest of resistance, at the 27-foo-high concrete barrier blocking access to their land.
That sweet-tasting and beautiful-looking fruit Adam and I ate has rotted and turned poisonous. All our knowledge has not made us happy; it’s just given us a false sense of our own power; and now we are ashamed. We build walls to protect ourselves and they end up imprisoning us; we make bigger weapons and they kill our children.

We try to figure out which side to support, but all our knowledge will not end the suffering.

Looking back, I’m sorry I didn’t just stick with the job you gave us—to till and keep the garden, to serve you and protect what you created. It turns out all you wanted was our happiness—if we had only listened.

Maybe that’s why you gave us Lent.


Gracious God, you have given your creatures abundance beyond anything we could dream of. But we have not paid attention to your generous desires for our happiness and have followed our own desires for power instead. Accept our heartfelt remorse and turn our hearts to the tilling and keeping of your beautiful creation. Help us to see you walking with those who continue to seek their freedom; keep them safe today. Amen.

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