Saturday, December 4, 2010
We were a couple of days late putting up our Jesse tree, which means we had read about “The Fall” the previous evening. And I just happen to use mini apples as fillers around the Jesse tree ornaments, so Esmé was convinced the tree was indeed the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The Mary and Joseph of our crocheted nativity set were quickly reappropriated as Adam and Eve, and the dramatizations began. I read “The Fall” several times on demand, then left Esmé to go through her own scenarios – all the way through the angel guarding the gate of the garden and Eve having her own babies and wondering if they might indeed be the Messiah. Each time, the serpent played a prominent role.
I began to feel a niggling concern – maybe I should buy another tree to stand in as the Tree of Life to balance things out a bit. Was this focus on evil, on the fall, taking things a bit too far?
So I sat the little Miss down to have a discussion with her. What was her fascination with this serpent? Why was he “cool?”
“Mommy, the serpent can really talk!” she exclaimed.
Of course, I thought. My daughter has ALWAYS loved stories where the animals can “really talk.” I generally explain that it’s just pretend, but for once, here is a story that’s NOT pretend, and the animal can indeed really talk.
Boy, can that serpent talk. He’s still yapping away at us, insisting that we can have more, be more. He still appears beautiful, convincing us that if we eat the fruit, we can develop our own superpowers – we can become the perfect mom, wife, breadwinner, Superwoman. We can even create the perfect holiday season for our families.
We try. We fail. We try again, though we’re destined for failure again. We’re surrounded by apples of evidence – magazines, blogs, TV shows – perfection is there if we stretch a little further. So we add more to our busyness, or carve away if we’re following the simplicity blogs, as we stretch for that perfection.
Shining through the cacophony, the darkness of failure, there is the WORD – Logos – the ultimate communicator - the One who spoke and it was so.
“In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God.”
Oh, I know we can be hard of hearing. We’re quick to pick up on the unnatural – the serpent that really talks – while the Creator of it all, the foundation of our very existence, goes unnoticed.
“The WORD became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”
And the WORD, bruised for our iniquities, crushed that talking serpent’s head.
And that is what we celebrate today.
“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Romans 16:20
Posted by Jane Maritz at 7:39 PM