Now that Advent is over, even though we are still in the Christmas Season (until the Feast of the Epiph- any—one of my favorite feast days!), we’re going to go back. WAAAAY back, to the beginning of everything. We’re going to dive on in to the first four chapters of Genesis.
There’s a pretty symmetry, in my opinion, in starting off the new year with the beginning of the Old Testament. On a personal note, I think it is pretty cool that my first contribution to Heart of Mary is the opening of the first book in the Bible. :)
Genesis starts off with a sort of dramatic opening line:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth.”
There it is. God created everything. No small feat, by any means.
As we move onward through Genesis, we’re going to see a lot of foreshadowing, a LOT of the first sins, and a lot of God’s punishing hand. We walk through the Creation story, where God sets up the entire Earth and everything in/on/around it.
Then comes the creation of man, and the Garden of Eden. God plops Adam down in the most beautiful and perfect Garden, giving him dominion over everything. But something was missing.
So we get the creation of woman from man, and her subsequent union with man. God created the Garden of Eden, filled it with everything pretty to look at and tasty to eat, gave Adam (and later Eve) the Garden, and told him to cultivate it, and to not eat from one very SPECIFIC tree. As we all know, Eve lets the serpent tempt and convince her (by encouraging her to be prideful) to eat the fruit, then she gives it to Adam, and we have officially fallen from grace.
This is SUCH a huge bummer, which seems like the understatement of eternity.
I remember thinking when I was a child how SELFISH Eve was, for giving us all original sin and everything that comes with it, just to eat a stupid fruit because a snake told her to. While Grown-Up Mandi understands it a little more than Child Mandi did, I still sometimes think it would have just been so much easier to not have sin.
No work, no school, we’d all just be happily frolicking around the Garden of Eden with God. God literally gave them ONE THING to not do, and that’s what they did. I do have to feel compassion for Eve, though, because I cannot even count the number of times I’ve had “one thing” to do or not do, and failed at it by my own choices. I’m sure we can all relate.
Adam and Eve then have to make their way outside of the Garden, which God has cast them out of, and placed the cherubim with a flaming sword to guard.
I used to always picture cherubim as the cute little chunky angels you see in paintings, but I have a feeling these cherubim are a little more fierce than the depictions of babies floating on fluffy clouds we see.
“God created everything. No small feat by any means.”
Now that we’re stuck OUT of the awesome Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had relations and she gave birth to Cain. Eve then has Abel, his brother. Cain and Abel both place offerings to the Lord, but Abel puts in less effort, and gets less recognition from God for his offering than Cain did. This is the first seed of jealousy we see in the bible. Cain gets so jealous, he kills his own brother.
Towards the end of Chapter 4, Cain settles far from Eden, has a wife, and a child named Enoch. We get some genealogy records, and Adam and Eve have another son, naming him Seth. The end of chapter four is a lot calmer than the opening of chapter one.
I’m so looking forward to learning and growing in our faith with you, sweet sisters, as we make our way through Genesis 1-4.
As we prepare to dig our way through the first few chapters of our Sacred Scripture, let’s think on what we recall of the creation and our first parents.
1. Is there a particular part about the creation story that you’ve always had questions on or had a hard time digesting?
2. Often times, the parts that stick with you from youth are the important parts of the story, but what small details do you recall that maybe offer additional or new insight now, into the overall bigger picture of Scripture & our Faith?