Life Notes—October 27, 2011
“Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
Two weeks ago we discussed the implications of taking the Hebrew word that is translated “rib” in the creation story and translating it as “side.” Thus, God’s first creation of humankind embodied both male and female. Rather than God removing a rib from the man to create a woman, God removes a “side” of the first human and shapes two halves—one man and one woman. Last week we noted that we are drawn to relationship not with those most similar to us, but often to those dissimilar but complementary—like opposite poles of magnets, or pieces of a puzzle. If you would like to read these previous editions they can be found at https://lifeworshipnotes.wordpress.com.
We are drawn to be in relationship with others. Even my introverted friends crave relationship, romantic and otherwise. I suggest this alternate reading of the creation story indicates our desire for relationship is much more than our just being social creatures. It suggests we may, at a very deep and mostly hidden level, seek to reunite that which was divided at creation. Our human bodies are the product of the union of a sperm and an egg, each only half genetically human. It is possible we are inevitably drawn to relationship because the product of two people together more closely mirrors the image of God from which we were created, and then separated. Perhaps we seek that divine Image not just spiritually, but also physically. Indeed, arguably the most intense, mysterious and binding of physical interactions is the sexual act, when two “become one flesh.” What was once separated becomes rejoined. Not incidentally, this is also the act by which human life is perpetuated on earth.
So what of those who are single, whether by choice or circumstance or any of a host of other reasons? We still seek relationship, though not always romantically or even with another person. It may be a job or a hobby or television or a Savior. In my early adulthood I desired a hermit-like existence. I would be close to nature and find wholeness, mostly uninterrupted by human distraction. But I was miserable. When face-to-face with my own incompleteness, what I found was far from the image of God I sought. My mistake was in the belief I could find fulfillment alone. Perhaps some people can live apart from others, but most of us cannot, at least not contentedly. Next week I will to move to the Garden of Eden, seen in the context of these discussions.
Tom’s downtown sermon is “New Leadership,” based on Joshua 3:7-17. Life worship is at 10:00 in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the Sanctuary. Mitch continues his “Mary and Martha” series at the west campus with “Lazarus,” based on John 11:17-36, where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.
Come home to church this Sunday. What God has joined, let no one separate…
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator