Do you remember the first time you heard the word ‘ponder’? Was it from Luke 2?? For several years I have read through the Bible till I lost count of how many times. I thought I’d take a break which has served to let me know that is what works best for me. Since my time is somewhat flexible, I don’t read ‘on a plan’ , I just pick up where I left off and read till I want to stop. It gives me time to ponder. I’ve thought about how Adam was created with a language already in place, such a langauge as he and God could have evening conversations every day. He had such grasp as he could name the animals. I am sure he and Carolus Linnaeus could have had great conversations about what to call this and that but CL wasn’t there at the time, so Adam was on his own! And when Eve came along, she and Adam could talk to each other right off the bat! Even after the fall life must have still been a wonder to them as it is to us. I think Abel had to learn from his parents like all babies do. Do you suppose it was a shock when all he would do was cry… and laugh? What a relief it must have been to see him smile, to feel some kind of communication!
The other thing I have been thinking of is the answer to the problem of evil. I don’t pretend to have it, but this is often the stumbling block people run into when trying to drum up some faith. The idea of a sovereign, loving and merciful God and existence of evil has a hard time cohabiting in our minds. For some, this is impossible, and they reject the sovereign loving God for their own reasoning capability which really has no power at all. When I taught Latin to middle schoolers they often could not understand why they had to take Latin. You know the ditty, I won’t repeat it. I would try to explain, but often they didn’t get my explanation. So…. I would say, life is a mountain that needs to be climbed. The farther up you go, the more you can see or understand, the more you understand the path. If the people down below argue with you the existence of what you see from farther up, they are ignorant. (I didn’t use that word in class). One student brought up that you can see what is down below more clearly than from farther up. I conceded that point, but later I thought that if you look at something too close, like holding your hand in front of your face, you don’t see it so well. It is only as there is some distance that you can see it for what it really is. I wonder if God swept away all the evil, everything would have to go. The Bible talks about a New heaven and a New earth. There is also the parable about the wheat and ‘tares’, or weeds, where Jesus advises to let the weeds alone, because if you yank on them now you mess with the roots. Better to let them all grow together and when it is ‘harvestime’ you can sort them out. I always want things to look clean and risk disturbing the roots in doing so, for which my husband , who understand the root business better than I do, chides me. I was just reading about Sodom and Gomorrah and Abraham pleads for his family. For the minimum of 10 people God will spare S and G, with all the evil in it, for the sake of the righteous. It really is an amazing story of mercy. In the end, there aren’t 10 and the few that go are so reluctant to leave that the angels take them by the hand and lead them out before the cities are destroyed. What seems to be of more import is not what God is going to do about the evil in this world (but rest assured that he will), but our response to His mercy . Lot’s sons in law thought he was joking and his wife thought about her stuff. That was their destruction, not God.
Those are my cumulative musings for the morning. Pax vobiscum