You’ll need a vivid imagination for this but try to picture the life of Adam and Eve pre-serpent, pre-tree, pre-fruit, pre-catastrophe. No discord, no disagreements, no misunderstandings, only happy, rich, marital bliss, God-style. Take another minute to fully let the Spirit transport you to that world almost forgotten. Almost, I say, but not quite.

Here’s my thinking on this. That other world is indelibly printed on mankind’s DNA. Deep within our subconscious, we fiercely yearn to live those untainted lives. Our post-serpent, post-tree, post-fruit, post-catastrophe lives contain a fractured remnant of ‘the Design,’ the ideal, the glory of those days of yore, if you will. Our battle, then, is primarily within ourselves –between what we innately desire to create and the messes (big and small) we end up producing.

Since this inner fight impacts every man and woman walking around on this globe, it isn’t too much of a stretch to see how we’ve gotten to the place we are today – and the impossible-to-imagine extremes of today! At first glance, it would be easy to think our situation beyond repair, beyond all hope. But God! As we know, He only has Plan ‘A’ (there’s no Plan ‘B’).

When Jesus, on that Sabbath in the Nazareth Synagogue, made the audacious announcement that he was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s 700-year-old prophecy, there were no unaffected hearers in his audience. For some, it was the most beautiful, longed-for word, ever. For others, it was a heresy to be silenced, and the sooner the better, regardless of the means.

What Jesus was doing, effectively, was calling for the restoration of that world of long ago, where relationships would be whole and satisfying, resulting in joy-filled marriages and homes, honest business dealings, neighbors loving and caring for neighbors, no one an outsider or stranger, and a sealing up of the abyss separating men and women from relationship with God, their One source.

It’s all about ‘relationship,’ which God created to remain permanently intact. Today, broken people hurt people. In turn, hurt people hurt people. And now, we have multiple millennia of destructive behaviors perpetrating human wreckage in nation after nation. Jesus came to us with the solution. His invitation is simple and according to Plan ‘A’ it still holds. Maybe the Garden is closer than we think.  PD  

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