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East of Eden

All but cursed, the men of dust, From garden’d bliss dejected thrust. Cast down to blood and tangling thorn, Flat-faced in mud, bereft, forlorn. Unmoved as ages droned along, Resigned to sighing pity’s song. To mouth their sadness with each breath, In love with self and sin and death. Then glancing back, a glimmering sight, […]

Fig leaves

In popular usage the phrase “fig leaf” refers to a hasty and inadequate cover-up for something shameful.  And that’s precisely how fig leaves function in Genesis 3. An hour earlier, Adam and Eve were walking around paradise as king and queen.  They were naked and unashamed. But the minute they eat the forbidden fruit, sin […]

Pride goeth before a fall

There’s something so fitting about an arrogant fool cut down to size. The Bond villain declaring “I am invincible” seconds before his grizzly death. The cocky athlete slowing down for the cameras and then tripping before the finish line. The deluded despot, overstretched and finally overthrown. At these times we love to quote from Proverbs: […]

Forbidden fruit

Just the phrase ‘forbidden fruit’ makes our mouths water.  And that fact tells us everything we need to know about the kind of humanity we have inherited. “Forbidden fruit” is not a phrase directly from the bible but it has become a shorthand to refer to “the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of […]

They were naked and were not ashamed

Genesis chapter 2 is a very common wedding text.  And then at the rehearsal the minister has to coach a blushing bridesmaid through the final verse of the reading.  Gulping, they exclaim, “Is this really in the bible?!” “They were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”  (Genesis 2:24) It just […]