April 14, 2016

Dear Liberty,

     The instant Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit the sacred bond between God and humanity was torn.  After Adam followed his wife into sin instead of chastising her, the bond was ripped completely apart.  As a result, man was banished from the Garden of Eden. (see Fruit of the Forbidden Tree)

     From that moment, man has been desperately trying to return to the utopian world he so carelessly tossed away.  Believing he can obtain it on his own, mankind continues to fight against God, ignore His word, and deny his blessings.  While God rebukes His people, allowing them to experience their man-made paradise so as to recognize what a Hell it really is, He knew nothing they could do would ever be able to put right what once went wrong.  As the old adage goes, if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.

     God never left his children without hope.  He immediately gave Adam and Eve a promise of a Savior, His own son, who would mend the bond they had just destroyed.  Until that time, God’s people continued to rebel against Him again and again.  As a loving Father, even in His reprimands God made quantum leaps through time, foreshadowing Christ’s redemption for humanity.

     As time passed after The Fall, evil reigned on the Earth.  Genesis 6:5 says, “thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.”  God’s anger grew so deep He was prepared to destroy His creation.  “So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.’” Genesis 6:7-8

     There was one, only one, righteous man who found favor in God’s eyes.  It is through this man that God decided He would start again.  God washed the world of sin with a great flood, cleaning it of its inquiry, if only for a moment.  Afterwards, God made a promise to Noah with a rainbow that He would never destroy the Earth again with water.  He also commanded Noah’s family to “be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” Genesis 9:7

     Within a few generations, the citizens of Babylon decided they would make themselves great by building a tower to the heavens “lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”   (see The Rainbow Connection)  Not only were they defying God’s command to spread out, they desired to be as powerful and relevant as God himself.  As God’s Will will always be done, He first confused their language so they could no longer communicate with each other and continue their blasphemous activity.  He then scattered them all over the land.

     Before delivering His people from Egypt, God administered the Passover, which required the blood of a flawless lamb to be placed on the wood of the doorposts.  This perfect lamb redeemed the Israelites, saving their first born from the angel of death.  Even after God’s remarkable rescue, parting the Red Sea, providing manna,  pheasant and water, the Israelites still complained and groaned, longing for their days of comfort in slavery over their time of inconvenience in liberty.

     Once God settled His people in the Promised Land and overthrew Jerusalem for David, Solomon built a permanent temple for God.  But as a reminder of the barrier that still existed between a Holy God and a sinful people, a curtain divided the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant rested and God resided, from the public Tabernacle.  Only the High Priest could enter the inner sanctuary, but just once a year to sacrifice to the Lord.

     But as God promised, He sent His Son to right what once went wrong all those years ago in the Garden of Eden.  

     During a Passover celebration, Jesus became the sacrificial lamb for all humanity.  

“Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.” 1 Corinthians 5:7

     Christ, our door to heaven, allowed his blood to be spilled on the wooden cross as the ultimate sacrifice so the angel of death will have no power over any of us.  

“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.”  John 10:9

     As Christ Jesus, the ultimate High Priest, breathed His last breath, the curtain that separated the people from God was torn apart.  (see What’s So Good About Good Friday?)

“And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.”  Mark 15:37-38

     Once again man had the ability to approach God, face to face, not as a terrifying figure, but as our blessed, loving Father.

     After Jesus’ resurrection, before ascending to His rightful throne at God’s right hand, He instructed His disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matt 28:19.  The cleansing water of baptism, given in the name of the Trinity, washes us of our iniquities for the forgiveness of our sins.  (see St. Patrick: Patron Saint Of Beer? and Trinity, Or Not Trinity)

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.  Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.”  1Peter 3:18-22

     Where the flood cleansed the world, baptism cleanses our souls.

     Christ promised that after He left, He would send us a helper.  On Pentecost, the disciples received that blessing as the Holy Spirit descended upon them.  To their amazement they found themselves speaking in languages that they before had no knowledge of.  With this gift they spread throughout the town, speaking the Good News to all who were there, natives and foreigners, in their own language.  

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.  And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.  And they were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?  And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?…we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.’”  Acts 2:4-8, 11b

     Where God separated the people because of their sin, He reunited for the Gospel.

     Man still has not learned his lesson though.  Many continue trying to obtain Heaven on Earth through their own means with the ideology of social justice and collective salvation.  They believe worshiping the Creation while denying the creator will bring about the forgiveness and righteousness mankind needs to achieve the perfect world.  Abortions develop the perfect person.  Climate Change regulations develop the perfect atmosphere.  Socialism and communism eliminate the strong-willed and equalize the weak in poverty.  Animal rights raise all living creatures to equal status of humans.  This ideology is designed to force all mankind to bow at the altar of Mother Earth, believing we can perfect ourselves and achieve nirvana.  

     Christians have the reassurance that because of Jesus, because of His love, His sacrifice, and His grace, paradise already exists.  He is there preparing it for us and He will return and take us home.  On that day, He will restore a perfect world, a world without sin or sorrow or pain.  A world where we don’t toil for our food or grieve over the loss of a loved one.  A world where greed does not exist and selfless charity rules.  We will return to the world God first created for us and always wanted us to have, the Garden of Eden.

     So Liberty, as we lament the degradation of our country and the world, find comfort in the fact that Christ has already reestablished the utopia everyone is looking for.  Work hard to reveal that knowledge to those who will listen and be smart to avoid the snake in the tree.  Heaven is our Home, Liberty, because Christ made it right again.  May we NEVER forget that.

     That’s my 2 cents.