First Night … June 6, 2013

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Primrose UMCWe spend entirely too much time debating the flavor, freshness and texture of our bread instead of being energized by the fact that it is shipped daily, as a gift.

When I arrived last night at Primrose United Methodist Church, there were not a lot of people there. Perhaps to the outside cynical viewer, it might even have appeared that there were SO few individuals present that NO possibilities existed.

That’s because we live in a society that bounces between religious fervor and “live in the moment” agnosticism. Sometimes people get all worked up about their journey, their need or their family, and for a brief season “praise God from whom all blessings flow.” Then some trial or tribulation comes in from an unexpected angle which attacks the house of cards of that belief system, and they tumble down in bewilderment, not sure why God has forsaken them.

The confusing, back and forth representation of spirituality makes people overly dependent when they need to be energized, and vibrate with worry when they should be relaxing in their accomplishments.

If you want to find out how things work, you need to go back to how it began instead of looking at all the patches on the well-worn tires over the history of religious practice.

That’s where we tried to go last night. A handful of us got together and decided to talk about returning to Eden with our faith instead of hanging around the cross, discussing the blood and salvation, the tomb, shouting and hollering about the resurrection or staring into the Eastern skies, pleading for the second coming.

Eden was where God came up with the idea for human beings to be created in His image. Once you place yourself firmly within the Garden philosophy, you realize that God walked in and said:

“Look. I made all the trees. They bear fruit. There’s food everywhere. The ground is fertile. I’ve given you gorgeous bodies–not because they’re physically attractive, but because they work so well. You see the little parts that give you pleasure and also make other human beings. You’ve got work to keep you busy. You’ve got fruitfulness IN that work to make you overjoyed–AND you’ve got each other. Have a great day. I’ll see you tonight.”

That’s right–God didn’t show up for breakfast meetings. God didn’t have lunch with Adam and Eve. God didn’t come in the late afternoon to save the day because they couldn’t figure out how to pick the grapefruit.

God showed up in the cool of the evening–to talk, fellowship and celebrate the victories of the day. God was confident in what He had provided. God believed in His own daily bread.

Somewhere along the line, we have to teach people who believe in God that God believes in them.

We aren’t the screw-ups that religion insists we have become. We aren’t without potential. We aren’t rotten to the core. We are just lazy, always looking for a shortcut by eating the “fruit of the knowledge of good and evil” so that we don’t have to actually work anymore. Once we get over that we become excited about our lives again, living within the twenty-four hour period, and we become powerful instead of weak.

So I’m going to tell them tonight, as I close out my time at Primrose, that your faith can be hanging around a cross all day, lamenting the death of Jesus or you can look for the signs of the times that point towards the end of the world.Primrose sign

But I would recommend that you come to Eden. Get your daily bread. Work with it. And meet God at closing time–to laugh about your follies and rejoice over your advances.

First night is done. Now it’s time for a new day–an exciting day.

This is a day that the Lord has made.

 

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