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Lenten Reflection

Sharon Norton, CND Associate

CND Associate Sharon invites us to see the loving God as always searching for ways to reach through to us.  Blessed Lent!

A reading from the Book of Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7.

I have listened to the story of Adam and Eve’s fall from grace from varying perspectives over the years, as a child, a parent, and now a grandparent.

 

The Parent in me echoes:

Never take candy from a stranger!

Be home by 10.

Don’t text and drive.

Just say no!

Don’t eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

 

The Child in me replies:

But all my friends do it.

You just don’t want me to have any fun.

I’m old enough to make my own decisions.

I don’t need your help.

Fruit is delicious and is good for you.

 

The Crone ruminates:

I have learned that even the goodwill of a parent cannot be imposed on a child out of fear or obligation. Only when the child perceives the parent’s will as love and not a test, can there be peace. And that is the job of a parent –to give a child unconditional love; and the job of the child is to receive and reflect that love.

In my biblical imagination, God reached such an impasse early on with his children. Sometime after the Garden of Eden debacle, He resorted to handing down Ten Commandments. Could He be any clearer? What about “no” did those kids not understand? Turns out, everything. Time to radicalize. Instead of enacting more laws, He authored a new story, a simpler one with fewer rules. In this story, He cast as lead, not another prophet, but His own son. And still, His son struggled like his brothers and sisters before him to reflect the will of his father, not sure what he was supposed to do nor at times sure he wanted to do it. Throughout his adult life, Jesus talks back to his Father, in secret, in gardens and in deserts. There he surrenders himself not so much to the will of his Father, but to his Father’s love that would sustain him until the will could be revealed and be done.

So for the Lenten season 2017, I think that this grandmother won’t be making any traditional resolutions. She will just retreat quietly, hidden in secret with Christ in God to enjoy a parent’s unconditional love.

 

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