Today we have to rest. I woke up in significant pain yesterday, and at about 6 am we were driving to the hospital. After a long wait, an ultrsound, IV line in, and blood pressures lower tthan I had when I was in my twenties, it appears that I was passing a kidney stone, hence the pain. Kea needs to recover, because she was worried. So today we watch church on a screen, then hit the chemist for more pain relief.
This is not a discipline of Lent. It is Murphy, and a correction, a humility. For death and illness exist, and none of us are exempt. The spirit of this world is not husbandry and growth and beauty, but that was our role before the fall.
We were made to care and to nurture and to restore. And to rely not on knowledge, but God.
who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights;
Give us grace to use such abstinence,
that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit,
we may ever obey thy godly motions
in righteousness, and true holiness,
to thy honour and glory,
who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.
For First Sunday in Lent, Church of Ireland
As I said, being ill is not that discipline. The reformed don’t keep seasons, and those who do fast in this time. It is an area of moral neutrality: both are good if done for the glory of God.
I mmy be speculating, but it may be that all our art and care and creativity is not really about the image but an instinct that we are to garden, to make beauty, to do what J.R.R. Tolkien called subcreation, for we are made in the image of God.
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not [a]eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
The great lie of the Devil is that with knowledge we will be like God. We cannot do this: no more than my old HP-35 calculator can process photos — cheap smartwatches have more computing power. We are not God, and we know in part. But God, knowing our weakness and that we were trapped — for even the most lawless has a sense of justice (frequently expressed with marked self righteousness and virtue signalling) and is aware that this is frequently broken.
Adam sinned, yes. But we sinned more. Thank God there is Christ.
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness [g]there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.