Letting human reason master our thought process sometimes causes us to compromise. We judge people and actions by human standards and deem them beneath us (although we might never actually articulate that opinion), we create our own hierarchy of obligations (aka legalism), and we pass judgment without grace or wisdom. Problems as old as time.
16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”Mark 2:16 ESV
18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”Mark 2:18 ESV
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.Genesis 3:6 ESV
Something deep within me aches whenever I read the biblical account of the fall of Adam and Eve. The deception, the disobedience, the damage. Every one of us has felt the fallout from that moment. We all need a savior because of our sin nature, inherited because of those choices. We all witness tragedy everyday because of that temptation. The world has never been the same since that moment.
Before that chasm split wide between God and mankind, man walked side by side with God. Can you imagine chatting with God in the cool of the day? Sipping lemonade in the shade while laughing, carefree over the antics of some of the garden’s many animal residents. Experiencing the wholeness of a marriage untainted by sin, temptation, worry, competition, or distraction. Learning from God himself the fullness of each theological truth, before sin. Before.
After that moment, we all are no better than the tax collectors and sinners, and no better than those that judged them, or judged Jesus for associating with them. Not one of us is above making an unwise call as Eve did. Ours might not launch the same cataclysmic snowball, but it is still sin.
Still, God loves us. He would eat a meal with us. He would wrap us in fur to cover our mess-ups. He would give us a mark of protection, forgive our sins, raise us from the paralytic’s mat, call us to the feast, give us rest, and have a plan for our lives and descendant’s lives.
God is crazy about you and me. Not because of what we have done or not done, but simply because He chose us. We are His. Forgiven and loved.
Dear God, as we begin the journey of this new year, help us to walk it by Your wisdom. Not to live in regret from past sins or fear of an unknown future, but confidence in the truth You have given and the plan You have for us for this day. Thank you for forgiveness and love that we can never outdo. You are so good. In Jesus name, amen.