First Sunday in Lent,
Genesis 2-3, Matthew 4 and Romans 5
Romans 5:12, “Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death through this and so death spread to all men, because all men sinned.”
Yahweh Elohim is a creative Being. He had already made the host of invisible beings who served as messengers to the flung reaches of space. After consulting the council of the hosts, God decided to fill the space with things visible. He sent billions upon billions of fireballs spinning through the vastness. Next Yahweh Elohim placed several balls, some of solid dirt, others more gaseous, orbiting the burning orbs. In turn these unlit balls had orbiting satellites. Then he added chunks of ice which showed up every 70 or 100, or ten thousand years. The unseen creatures had great fun darting about, in and out.
Then Yahweh Elohim selected a moderately sized dirtball orbiting a medium sized burning orb for a special project. The ball of dirt he selected was lit and warmed by the rays of its star, only 8 minutes away.
He knelt beside a spring of water, took a lump of moist clay and molded a sculpture. It was just a rectangular clump of mud. Then he added two longer appendages to the bottom of the rectangle and shorter appendages to the top. Each appendage had a joint in the middle. At the end of the lower ones he put feet with digits designed to let the clay figure move. And to the upper appendages he molded multijointed digits. With these clay man, could pick up and carry objects.
On the very top of the form he placed a sort of rounded ball, and poked holes in the clay, seven in all. With loving care Yahweh knelt over his work of art and blew his own breath into two of its holes. Lids on the two holes just above the breath holes opened and fluttered. He sat up and with wide eyed wonder he examined himself like a baby discovering itself for the first time.
Elohim called his new creation, Loved. Loved became a living being like Yahweh, yet different. While Loved explored his surroundings, hills, water, night lights and slowly creeping shadows under the daylight, Yahweh Elohim knelt once more in the soil. He began to plant a garden. Some long stems creations 100 feet or more formed a green canopy offering shade. He planted smaller growing things on the floor of forest. He left open areas. Some of his living and growing creations burst into a multitude of colors. Others produced edible fruits, some above the ground and some from under the soil.
Yahweh named the garden-park Delight. He placed Loved into the garden to enjoy it and care for it. Loved was delighted, and trusted Yahweh like a small child trusts a loving parent.
However, Yahweh soon noticed that Loved was lonely. Once more he kneeled in the moist clay and molded all manner of creatures which he presented to Loved to be named. However, none of them were quite the right helper Loved needed. So, Yahweh tried a new idea. He put Loved into a deep sleep, took a rib, and fashioned a person like Loved, only different. Loved, loved God’s new creature. He named her Lovely. Loved and Lovely were filled with trust and openness with another and with Yahweh.
Now Nacash, one of God’s creations, was too smart for his own good. He was no friend of Yahweh’s. One day Nacash slid into a snake’s skin and sidled up to Lovely. He said, “Have I got this straight? Yahweh has created all these trees, but he’s you to eat fruit from any of them?”
“No, no,” said Lovely, “We can eat from all of them except that one over there. He doesn’t even want us to touch it, lest we die.”
“Oof dah,” Nacash countered, “You won’t die. Elohim is deliberately holding something back from you. Do you know that if you eat that fruit, you will be as wise as Yahweh? Ha! You think Yahweh wants the competition?”
Now Lovely saw that the hanging fruit looked like the most delightful thing in the whole Delight garden. It appeared to be delicious, nutritious, and great brain food too. What if Yahweh really is holding out? Lovely plucked a piece of fruit from the tree, took a bite and handed it to Loved and he ate it too.
Indeed, their eyes were opened. but something was terribly wrong. They saw things in a different light. When they looked at each and were ashamed. They were naked. They had never noticed that before. They had a strong urge to rip some leaves off a fig tree and cover themselves. But they didn’t know why.
Ashamed and afraid, they hid among the trees when Yahweh took his usual evening garden stroll to ask how things had gone during the day.
“Where are you?” Yahweh asked. Before, Loved and Lovely always rushed out to meet with their creator. But today they were nowhere to be found. “Have you of that tree?” Yahweh inquired.
“This person like me though different, gave the fruit to me and I ate it,” cried Loved.
In her own defense, Lovely, exclaimed, “The snake conned me into it.”
In the end, Yahweh evicted Love and Lovely from the Delight garden. From now one they would be known as Self Love and Love of Self. They could feel themselves being pulled toward the dirt. They were dying. When their children were born they too were born into the image of Self Love and Love of Self. From that time, all life could sense the sludge in their veins tugging them inevitably toward death.
Ages passed. All creations continue to die. Nevertheless, Yahweh had turned many toward himself to look with inner sight to him. He told them that final death would not always be the endless end.
In the course of the ages, Yahweh Elohim sent one of his messengers to the moderate sized ball of dirt rotating around the medium sized fireball only 8 light and warmth minutes away. The messenger was named Yahweh Shows Strength. He appeared to a young descendant of the long dead Love and Lovely. Her name was Loved by Yahweh. She believed that Yahweh would one day remove their present names of Self Love and Love of Self. Yahweh Shows Strength announced that she would give birth to a son. And Yahweh Elohim would be the father. The name of the boy would be Yahweh Saves.
Yahweh Saves was born to the great Jubilation of the host of invisible creatures, well almost all. They came sipping from the far reaches of the universe around the place of the birth singing,
“Glory to Elohim in the highest,
And on earth, peace, good will among
Those with whom he is pleased.”
This child was the first since the very beginning of the ages to be able to carry clearly and cleanly the named of Loved, once again.
Yahweh Saves grew to adulthood. One day, he walked down to a river named Jordan. There he was washed by The Washer; whose name was God is Gracious. Coming out of the water Yahweh Elohim declared Yahweh Saves to his beloved son. However, immediately the Holy Spirit led Yahweh Saves to a barren and arid wilderness. No rivers ran there. The place was quite opposite of Delight park. After forty days of living only on his trust in Yahweh Elohim, Nacash did his best to tempt to act in his own behalf.
Nacash used the same strategy as he had in the Delight Park so long ago.” Am I to understand that you are the Son of Elohim and that Elohim has brought you out into this barren place and left you with nothing to eat? What kind of father starves his son, his only supposedly beloved son? Go ahead, make some bread, since you are Elohim’s son.”
Yahweh Saves responded, “My ancestors, Loved and Lovely fell for that one. Don’t you know that true life comes from trusting Elohim?”
Nacash then led him to a porch at the temple where Yahweh Elohim was worshipped. Nacash said, “Since you are the chosen one to Saved Love and Lovely, now known as Self Love and Love of Self, from their own folly, Surly your Father won’t let any catastrophe take your life. Go ahead, trust your Father the take a flying leap off this temple porch.” But Yahweh Saves refused to take the bait.
Nacash wasn’t done yet. He took Yahweh Saves to a mountain peak and offered him all the power in the world. All he need do is to acknowledge that Nacash is really “Yahweh who Rules.” Yahweh Saves was getting tired of the whole game. He said, “Get out of here. The only one who is to be acknowledged as ruler is the one who created it, and that you isn’t you, you big fraud. For the first time since Loved and Lovely had fallen for Nacash’s scam, a person had trusted the Yahweh Elohim entirely.
In the end, Yahweh Saves lived up to his name. He removed the labels, Self-Love and Love of Self. He restored them to be Loved and Lovely once again. Yahweh Saves promised that Delight Park, or something even grander, would be given back to those who trust in him. Death would be replaced with life. All the misery and death which Nacash brought into the universe would be annihilated.
Once more Loved and Lovely would walk and talk with God and not think of themselves at all, naked or not.