TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FALL
Entering into the story…
To enter heaven is to become more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth; to enter hell, is to be banished from humanity. – C.S. Lewis
Read the passage linked below and imagine the scene as if you were a movie director working with the characters. Often, we do not enter scripture with our humanity intact and we do not dignify the characters we find there by giving them their humanity in return. The goal of Lectio Divina is to meditate on the scene we find there and allow the characters to speak to us by vividly imagining the scene as if we are standing there physically too. Ask Holy Spirit to make the scenario come to life as you read using all of your senses to visualise everything in the scene…
Genesis 2:25-3:13 – Temptation and the Fall
Matthew 4:1-11 – Jesus’ Temptation in the Wilderness
What similarities do you see between Adam and Eve’s temptation and Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness?
How is Satan tempting both Adam and Eve and Jesus in similar ways to test God, to prove a lie and entice them to become something other than human in doing so? How are they tempted in both cases with human needs like food? How is this is a test for human beings to take on a place in reality that is not theirs to take? How does Jesus respond by adhering to what God says and how do Adam and Eve agree with the lie?
What does free will do in either case? Was it just as much of a risk for Jesus as it was for Adam and Eve? How was Jesus tempted by taking a short cut? How do the three tests of Jesus line ups with the test on Adam and Eve? What can we learn from this exchange in both Old and New Testaments?
Can you see the humanity of both Adam and Eve and Jesus in the midst of their frailty and vulnerability and how the temptation is to become something other than human? Something more? And how it actually makes them something less than human, less than imagebearers of God by design?
1) Prepare: Close your eyes, breathe, focus your mind, and ask God to enter into this time of prayer with you. Ask God to speak to you through this image.
2) Lectio (read): Open your eyes and scan the image. Note what draws your interest, but continue to scan the whole image. Close and rest your eyes a minute.
3) Mediatio (meditate): Open your eyes and let your eyes be led. Focus on just the part of the image that caught your eyes and name it. Close your eyes, seeing that piece of the image in your mind.
4) Oratio (pray): Open your eyes and look again at the piece of the image that caught your eye. Allow it to bring forth a word, image, or emotion. Close and rest your eyes.
5) Contemplatio (contemplation): Open your eyes and gaze at the whole image. What is God speaking to you today through this image? How will you respond to Him? Spend time processing that with God. Pray or journal about it.
Don’t judge too quickly!
Watch the video one more time and think of the different roles being played by the man, his girlfriend and the lady’s cat. How does it relate to what God is doing in the narrative, to the free will of His creatures and to what we do after there is miscommunication, pain and misunderstanding. In just a second what was meant for good, has tuned to evil. Free will is central to the story of God. He longs for us to have it, defends our right to have it, created us with it and knows the power of it. Your will is the second most powerful will in the universe. It is God-given and it can also be used against His sovereign will. Yet, God will never force, coerce or manipulate you. He loves and that is what makes Him stay to explain how it was good, how it is all fallen and how it can be made right if we would trust Him to explain how it was meant to be and how He will make it right again.
If you were the man in this video, imagine his perspective. If you were the women imagine what you would do? Run, scream, phone the police? Would you stay? So that Gd can explain what has happened and give you context once more? The story of God starts in perfect peace and is an explanation of not only how things went wrong, but also how we find our way forward together. Free choice is front and centre for God and for His imagebearers.
The Tilted Room
This video was filmed on a sound stage tilted at a 45 degree angle. So the actor is walking up hill as they cross the room. It depicts the hardships of the most basic human activities. Due to the fall, we accept this as normal, we feel pain, disease and death constantly in different ways every moment of the day. It is totally normalised for us as it is all we have ever known. It is painful but the video is also humorous, as the actor changes the painting on the wall to fit his own perspective, which is bent, crooked and slightly distorted. How is this similar to our own view points in the search for the truth? Sin and the pain it causes was not here in the start of the story and will not be here in the end, it is temporary, but if it is all we have ever known, we no longer even blink at it. So does pain serve a purpose even though it is not from God?
Embodied Spirituality in Practice
A DISCIPLINE OR PRACTICE TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR LIFE.
INSPIRATION AND PRACTICAL APPLICATION FROM A CREATIVE
DISCOVER THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE FALL ON OUR PERSONAL AND COMMUNAL LIFE
Assignment: Do the Embodied Spiritual Practice above – “Shame, Blame and Hiding” of God’s Imagebearers and write or create something as a response to the Fall and then upload it here. How do you see shame, blame and hiding working its way out into your own life?
This is a chance to express yourself creatively. Perhaps something in this part of the timeline has challenged, excited or inspired you. You may want to think about how you could express that through drawing, writing, painting, filming, designing or photographing something to share with others here at creativeimagebearers.com.
Optional: In addition to the assignment above, please write a haiku, poem, song or create a piece to express yourself and share it with us!
Final Take-Away to give context…
PROVOKE THOUGHTS, QUESTIONS…
he Fall sent everything into a death roll. We used our will to do that by joining with a dehumanising vindictive and jealous evil to turn everything on its head. We are as a result suffering the consequences of disease, brokenness and violence every day. Your will is the most powerful thing in the Universe after God’s will. God respects our will and will not overrule it. If there is pain, war or famine we created it by believing the lie and created hell for ourselves. Where evil flourishes good men remain silent. Just as we created this mess, we can also in turn co-labour with God to bring order, beauty and abundance back into the world. God and our creative endeavours are never done.
hough we are fallen it has tainted everything, everything we can see and everything we cannot in the physical and spiritual creation. All is fallen. Though the ground is hard to farm, babies come forth in pain and our lives now end in death. Yet still, we are created in the image of God and our Imagebearing ability is tied to our being human. God will not erase our humanity in order to fix the problem, instead He wants us to image Him. The evil one hates that we are made in His image, even angels can’t do that! So, he longs to make us inhumane so that we in turn dehumanise one another, thus destroying God’s image by idolising something in the created order. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is not God!
e are what we love. Our loves/desires shape us and form us in their image. Love is worship and we can make anything an idol and be defined and enslaved to it if we turn from God as the source of our imagebearing. Only by imaging God in our humanity can we find freedom as that is intrinsic to our design. We need to learn to embrace our finiteness, our limitation and our vulnerability and allow God to be all knowing, all powerful and ever present to our needs.