By Stephen R. Clark
“In the beginning . . .”
We hear these words and can immediately complete the thought: “God created the heavens and the earth.”
Light, land, waters, life. A new world teeming with the fruits of God’s creativity.
A man was made, a woman formed, and a command given to care for the garden and all that was in it.
Then things went awry . . . off-kilter . . . sideways . . . south.
A serpent showed up and challenged the very words of God. The serpent seeded confusion and reaped disobedience. It ended with the first people in exile, cut off from their Creator.
We read Genesis and wonder how things could go so wrong so quickly. What was their problem? They had it all! An idyllic setting, free food, free rent, all utilities included, and daily facetime with God. Talk about the abundant life! Adam and Eve had it all and trashed it.
Many of us surely think we would have done better had we been in their place!
Really? You think?
As Christians, when we hear the words “do this,” we immediately complete the thought, “in remembrance of me.” Twice, on the night he was to be betrayed and handed over for crucifixion, Jesus instructed his disciples—and us—to remember him by eating bread and drinking wine.
Jesus’ actions would be once for all—one and done. Our actions of remembrance will go forward and be repeated into the future, until he returns. Why? Because Jesus knew we are no better than Adam and Eve.
We are just as gullible, just as prone to wander, just as needy as they were.
At Communion, it’s often suggested we examine our hearts, as Paul advised in 1 Corinthians 11:28. Take a quick peek into our interiors and see what sin lies there. We don’t have to look too deeply for the flaws to reveal themselves.
Perhaps we spoke harshly to our spouse, child, or friend. Perhaps we lied to our boss. Perhaps we hold a grudge against a neighbor. Perhaps we have a favorite little sin we’re pointlessly trying to hide from God.
Now is the time to begin again. Confess failings to the Lord. Reconcile with those you have sinned against. And come to the table where Jesus waits to restore and heal you.
Through his body and blood, fresh starts are possible daily. Come.
Stephen R. Clark lives in Lansdale, Pa., with his wife, BethAnn, and their two rescue cats, Watson and Sherlock.