A Retelling of Creation and the Fall
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And God filled the world with all sorts of life. Fish in the sea, animals on land, and birds in the sky. God placed the sun in the heavens so we could enjoy beautiful morning sunrises. And he hung the moon and the stars so we could enjoy awe-inspiring nighttime vistas. And God filled the world with wind that would bring a cool breeze on those warm summer days. He filled the world with mountains and trees, plains and wild grass, and oceans as far as you could see and God called all of it good.
And in the middle of all of this, God planted a garden, the Garden of Eden. Shaping a man from the dust of the earth, and a woman from the rib of this man, God put people in the Garden, not only to share with them what he had created, but also so God could walk with them. From the very beginning, God’s design for this world was a creation that he could enjoy with people, walking side by side with them, bringing them life that they couldn’t know apart from God.
But this man and this woman, Adam and Eve, they thought there was something out there that they could enjoy more than what God had blessed them with. So they chased after it and that became the story of us all. Chasing after things that we think will bring us more life even though Life itself is there wanting to walk with us. And the result is always the same, it always brings death.
Adam and Eve’s pursuit caused them to lose it all. Their move to step away from God caused emotional, physical, and relational death in their lives, causing them to hide in shame. And it would seem that as soon as the story had started, it had all come to a quick end.
But the end of this creation story is really just the beginning. God would walk with people again one day. God would make all things new. God would become the resurrection God, breathing new life into all that had been lost and God would move us from creation to new creation, from life to new life by becoming Jesus in the flesh, walking with people again.
In Jesus new creation awaits, and we long for the day when we don’t make the same mistake again. When we truly know that God has given us the best of himself through Jesus, walking with us in a new garden, a new city, where the trees we once so abused, become symbols of hope and healing for all nations, for all people. Where God says, Behold, I am making all things new again. –Revelation 21:5
Every story can be broken down into a few parts. The setting, where the story takes place and why it might be important. The characters and their emotions and thoughts invested in the story. A tension that needs resolved. A resolution that brings us through the tension, and a through line (aka main idea) that carries the story through from beginning to end.
The Setting God has created the heavens and the earth, placing Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to enjoy life with God the Creator.
- God as creator and provider
- Adam as the firstborn of Creation
- Eve as the mother of the living
- The Serpent as deceiver
The Tension Can Adam and Eve be satisfied with what God has given them and trust that God has given them the best of what God has to offer? The serpent comes along and tells Eve that there’s something better out there than what God has already offered her and that’s becoming like a god herself. Adam falls for exactly the same thinking. What if Eve has something better to offer Adam than what God has? The tension revolves around this entire notion that maybe there really is something better out there than what God has to offer and the truth of the matter is that we all fall for this same line of thinking.
The Resolution There isn’t life apart from the way of God. This story resolves to struggle because both Adam and Even, and the serpent pursued their own ways. The creation to new creation resolution though that this story is just the beginning and one that starts with a tree. Throughout the arc of God’s story we start with a tree in the garden, climax with the tree that Jesus was crucified on, and in the end, it’s a tree in the New City mentioned in Revelation whose leaves are for the healing of the nations.
The Through Line God has created something good, incredibly good, paradise even, but the story of all of us is the story of Adam and Eve, we all wonder if there’s something out there better than what God has given us. And yet… despite all of this… God want’s to walk with us, so much so that God arrives in the flesh through Jesus to walk with us again.
Why has this story endured? It’s the story of us. Everything wrong in the world has its beginning and the Creation and Fall story in Genesis is that beginning.
What is true for them then that is still true for us today? It’s still human to pursue ambitions outside of God that we think is better than God. We’re sadly in good company of a long litany of people that pursued their way instead of God’s way and the struggle that comes with it.
How does this story help us love God? It’s a call to remember that God’s design for us wasn’t struggle. God’s design for us was a walk in the Garden with the Creator and the Christian story is one of moving from Creation to New Creation where that will happen again.
How does this story help us love others? It should be a reminder that none of us are immune from chasing after ambitions that we think may bring us more life than God. There are as many forms of that as there are people in the world and we need to be quick not to pass judgement.