Adam & Eve
If you read my last blog post, you know I’m working on a secret project. Part of that project involves helping young kids to learn their true identity. Not a small task, right?
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Rayne has recently taken up the hobby of sword fighting. It’s her favorite game to play with her dad while we are hiking. They grab long sticks and sword fight through the woods. Ben shouts things like “Argh! Shiver me timbers you Scallywag!!” and Rayne replies with her favorite comeback ::
We don’t know what it means or where it came from, but she’s confident that it’s pirate slang for something.
The other day she said, “wow I’m getting pretty good at this!” and Ben said, “yep - you’re a great swordsman! Er, I mean, swords-woman.” She looked up at him quizzically and said, “it’s pi-rate,” as if he was pronouncing ‘pirate’ wrong.
So if we fail at everything else, at least Rayne can fall back on her true identity of being a pirate.
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When we teach Rayne and Bradlee about their true identity, who God created them to be, we start with God’s very first creation. Another daunting task in and of itself, mainly because so many of us grew up in Sunday School classes that taught the story in a fairly dooming light ::
God creates man and woman.
Woman gets tempted by the snake.
Woman falls into temptation and brings man down with her.
God can no longer face them because of their wickedness and sin.
All humanity is cursed with the same sin nature.
Therefore, God can’t face us either, because of our wickedness and sin.
[Insert bridge diagram - only Jesus can be the bridge between our separation from God].
Geez, that is depressing. And honestly that’s not what I read when I read the creation story (or the cross story for that matter). I’m reading a book right now called Original Blessing, and the author says this ::
The gospel is not a story of us being separated by sin from God. It’s the story of a God who is so faithfully for us and intent on being with us that God became human to help us embody the wholeness and fullness of life we’ve been made for. It’s not a story of separation. It’s a story of invitation and participation.
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My kids get a lot of things wrong about the Bible. I took Bradlee to a market with me last weekend and we stopped by a tent that sells handmade greeting cards. I picked up a card that had a little garden gnome on it. Brads said, “that’s Jesus dying on the cross.” Hm.
I once overheard Rayne teaching her class (read : stuffed animals) about God creating the world. It went a little something like this ::
Once upon a time, God created two women.
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I don’t care how much of the Bible they get wrong, as long as they get the important stuff right. Rayne will learn eventually that humanity didn’t come from God creating two women. And Bradlee will learn eventually that Jesus wasn’t a garden gnome.
What I can’t let them get wrong, though, is God’s love and pursuit for them and for every single person on this earth. And maybe that’s what you need to hear today, too.
Maybe you’ve heard a lot of people tell you about your sin nature… but you haven’t heard enough people tell you that you were created in God’s image, you were called good when you were created, and you are still called good today.
Maybe you’ve heard a lot of people tell you about your separation from God, and not enough people tell you that God has never stopped pursuing you. God has never turned His back on you.
Maybe you’ve heard some renditions of the story of Adam and Eve and felt a sense of doom.
Read it now in a new light. Read how God created and blessed humanity. Read how God wanted to protect Adam and Eve from the knowledge of good and evil - from knowing what guilt, shame and fear feel like. And read how God pursued them even in their guilt, shame and fear. And know that He is pursuing you to free you from yours today.
Most of us heard this story when we were little kids. I wonder if it will be helpful to hear it as a little child again? I haven’t found a kids version that I love, so I wrote my own for my kids! If you have kiddos, or you want to just hear this story again as a kid yourself, then CLICK HERE to read my children’s version of the story of Adam & Eve.