“What on earth is wrong with us?” Humanity experiencing problems is nothing new. In fact, it’s as old as the beginning of the human race. But just as God created all things good, He sets boundaries in place to maintain this goodness. When Adam & Eve crossed this boundary, their relationship with God was damaged.
What is wrong with us is that we are “boundary crossers.” We cross divine boundaries put in place not to keep us out, but to keep us together. To live peacefully in harmony with all creation. Consider that Adam & Eve’s boundary crossing was less about fruit and more about their inability to care for and respect the garden.
It is easy to be distracted from what is good for us, to coast and go about our day not realizing a boundary has been crossed. When Adam & Eve crossed their boundary, it opened their eyes to what’s important. They took a step back and asked what is going on.
Each year we take a similar step back during the season of Lent; the 40 day period excluding Sundays leading up to Easter. This is a time where we examine our lives. We cease from our routines not just to give something up, but to replace what is removed with reflection, prayer, and repentance. This is our eye opening experience where we see where we are missing the good in our lives. The purpose of this is not punishment, but to clothe ourselves in God’s grace.
A year and a half ago, our Church went on a similar journey, stepping back as a congregation and ask who we are, where we’ve been, and what we’ve been doing. Are we caring for the good relationship that God intends for us to have with Him and with others? Are we living up to our potential or have we become too busy, too distracted? Have we crossed boundaries characterized by ignoring the good that God has intended to share?
We found that we have carried out vital work in our history. We discovered that we are human. We are fickle and fallible. Our eyes were open. We discovered that we have had and continue to have the capacity to live into and carry out the goodness that God created for us. These times of engagement are not to make us feel bad, but an opportunity to find the abundance of God’s goodness, his grace, and his redeeming love that we’ve overlooked or been distracted from seeing.
Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7