God had reached out from heaven in love and crafted the earth, filling it with beauty and goodness. Everything about the world gave life. Nothing gave death. Everything about the world gave joy. Nothing gave pain. God’s love infused everything. There was no hate. The second of two creation stories calls this world the Garden of Eden. Dante called it Paradise. When we glimpse this world in the course of our very ordinary, non paradise filled lives, we call it God sightings.
Our sin blocks our participation in paradise as effectively as a painted window blocks the sun. As God expelled Adam and Eve from Eden, our sin expels us from intimate relationship with the divine.
Their fall is a metaphor of our personal falls. Instead of bearing the fruit God desires of us, from the first moment from the womb we are like the pear tree, wanting to grow quickly and bask in the sun. God built these yearnings, doubts and desires into us. Not so that we can experience suffering, but so that we can freely and wholly commit ourselves to him.
Most people spend most of their lives in the litter and bombed out factories along the tracks. That’s not what God wants – it has never been what God wants – and time and time again God seeks to rescue his people from the mess of a world filled with sin.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Paradise's Promise - Lent Series I
During Lent this year, Pastor Fritz is preaching a sermon series entitled God's Bailout Plan. Below are excerpts from the first sermon in the series.