The Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:23-24)
Genesis, the first Book of the Bible, paints a beautiful picture of the relationship between the Lord and Adam and Eve before the first sin ever happened. They had a deep union and a trusting and tender relationship. Then they followed the suggestion of the serpent and everything changed forever. Their relationship to God wasn’t the same; they hid from him, they began to blame each other and they had to leave Paradise. Leaving Paradise meant that they would also have to “leave” their deep and loving union with God. An angel with a flaming sword was placed at the entrance to Paradise, so that they would not be able to enter it. Finding that deep relationship with God would never be easy again. A legend tells the story that as Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden to go into the world, they took something along with them from Paradise, something that would accompany them always. What was this mysterious companion? It was hope. They carried along with them the hope that the bonds of love that had been so weakened through sin would one day be made whole again. They carried along with them the hope that God himself would come and save his people and establish anew this life-giving union. In the experience of our own faults and failings do we carry hope? When we look at the problems and pain of today’s world, are we also convinced that there is yet hope?