30 March 2014

The adam and the adamah

One thought from today. The Gospel reading was the story in John's Gospel (ch.9) when Jesus heals the man born blind. I never noticed it before, but it was pointed out in the sermon today that this was actually an act of re-creation. Jesus made mud and smeared it on the man's eyes. The man born blind either had eyes that were physically damaged, or his brain couldn't interpret the images it received - or quite possibly both. He used the adamah, the humus, the dirt, to heal the adam, the human. Given the deliberate echoes in John's Gospel of the creation myths* in his gorgeous Prologue in chapter 1, this hardly seems coincidental. It is making a link between the God who makes, and the God who heals - and the God who is incarnated.

One for further thinking.

*Author's note: if you're thinking from my comments above that I am some kind of "creationist" who believes in a short prehistory then think again. The creation stories in Genesis are theology: exploring our relationship with the cosmos and the God of love whose love spoke it into being, who oversaw the Big Bang (maybe the Big Bang was the word God spoke?), and set evolution in motion. It is not and never was intended to be scientific explanation. Rock on, Darwin. When you've read the parallel creation stories from the Ancient Near East such as the Gilgamesh Epic, you realise that they are just that - stories, where people have reflected on their place in their world. There is not and does not ever need to be a conflict between science and faith in a God who created love as the highest ideal of life, and the showed us that love by becoming one of us.

But that, perhaps, is a topic for another day....

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