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Thursday, 17 July 2014

What might have been - and what is!

This blog has been neglected for too long!  The reason is that I have been without internet access for some days.  My wife and I are making our way to Dunkerque, from our static caravan, for a few weeks in Scotland in order to be there to support our younger daughter as she commences chemo-therapy subsequent to the Lumpectomy that she underwent shortly before we left.

We are, at present, at Laulurie - definitely our favourite site in France, and probably our favourite touring site anywhere.  These first two days have been glorious - clear blue sky; temperature into the 30s; gentle breeze; and the conviviality that brings us back here, year after year.

It was as I lay at the side of the pool (on a lounger, of course!) this morning that I found myself day-dreaming.  I started to think of what might have been.  We read, in the Biblical book Genesis, that when Almighty God had finishes His work of creating the heavens and the earth (aka the universe), He looked at His work and "... saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good." (Gen 1:31).  We go on to read of the relationship between man and his Creator, and of the disobedience of man that allowed sin to enter the world.  That sin became, as it were, part of our DNA, and we are sinful creatures from the moment of our conception. (see Ps.51:5)

But what if Adam and Eve had not disobeyed?  What if the enemy, in the guise of a serpent, had not beguiled them?  What if they had remained the perfect creatures that God had made?  All that we may do, of course, is speculate.  As I slipped into the pool for a twenty length (it's 20m long!) swim, I wondered if Adam would have discovered that he could swim in the clear, cool, water of the river that flowed out of Eden (see Gen.2:10-14).  If he could, he would have come out of the water to a much more gentle warmth that I have been doing these past couple of days. Yesterday, I held my private devotions outside - Adam was able walk in the garden with his heavenly Father, and talk with Him face-to-face!   There was no sin, no sorrow, no death.   Little wonder that we speak of it as Paradise!

However, our human ancestors did, in fact, sin, and that is the basic reason why the world in which you and I live is as it is.  That's the basic cause of all of the greed, and violence, and murder, and everything that is negative and that causes harm to any part of the creation.  What might have been was replaced with what, in fact, is!

Yet even that is not the whole story.  Listen to Paul: "For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies." (Rom 8:19-23).

Out of His great love for us, Father God did not leave us in our sin.  Instead, He has provided an answer.  Adam and Eve endeavoured to cover their sin by their own works - by making aprons of leaves.   But, right at the beginning, God showed that "... without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." (Heb 9:22).  We read: "And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them." (Gen 3:21) but, in order that those skin garments be made, an animal (perhaps a lamb?!) had to die.  The central message of the Gospel is that God provided a perfect sacrifice, in Himself, in the Persona of the Son.  He took your place, and mine, on the cross at Calvary.  There, He died the death that you and I deserve to die.  It is as we place our trust in Him, that we may know a new relationship with God the Father, that lasts throughout this mortal life - and into eternity itself!

Perhaps you think that you're not good enough!  Listen to the words of Jesus Himself: "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me; and him who comes to Me I will not cast out." (John 6:37)

Come to Him, acknowledging your sin; accepting that you are incapable of doing anything about it; and assured that He will accept you - and make you a brand new creation, in Him. (II Co.5:11).

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