Daily Meditation: January 11, 2022

by Grace Kaynor on January 11, 2022

The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.” ’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.

- Genesis 3:1-7,22-24

The story of “The Fall” is one of the most famous stories in the Bible. The traditional interpretation is that we are all sinners and that we must pay for our original ancestors’ sins with our death. However, I believe this story can be understood differently. God didn’t have to put the Tree of Life in the Garden. God CHOSE to place the tree in front of Adam and Eve and to let them know about it. Like any good parent, God cautioned Adam and Eve to stay away from the tree because eating it’s fruit would open their eyes to the knowledge and consequence of life experience, thus taking away their innocence.

All loving parents want to protect their children from the temptations that are in front of them every moment. We tell our own children: “don’t do drugs”, “don’t smoke”, “don’t drink too much”, “don’t hang out with those kids down the block”, and on and on but still our children have their own lives to live - their own choices to make. We can only hope our cautionary advice is enough to keep them from making bad decisions.

The temptation to rebel, choosing independence and experience over innocence, is as old as the beginning of time. Adam and Eve had free will. Our children, too, will make their own choices (as we do). There are consequences for every decision, but ultimately the only way for us to learn is through experience. Sometimes those choices bring us closer to God and sometimes those choices lead us far away from what we know is right and good. Once Adam and Eve made their choice, the path of their lives changed and there was no turning back. God sent them out into the world to make their way and live out their lives until they returned to their origins. Nevertheless God was with them through every choice just as he loves and supports all of his children, regardless of our decisions.

Musical Reflection - Jesus Christ the Apple Tree - Jane Siberry

Lord, help us to remember your guidance and to make good decisions. If we go astray and make choices that send us down the wrong path, please guide our way home to you. Amen.