Bible Stories for Big Kids–Adam and Eve
God was lonely. That’s the problem with being THE God. It’s not like being one of the gods of Mount Olympus where you could always find another god or goddess to wrestle for power or to go grab a drink with. THE God is all alone. Even though THE God dwells in community as the Holy Trinity, each of the members is really still God…but not God…but still God. Mystery doesn’t make for great company.
God wanted someone who was a little more like God…but not exactly like God. Only God is, of course, God.
So God made a human. God called this human Adam, since God formed Adam from the earth, and the Hebrew word for earth is adamah (which just shows you how clever God likes to be). As much as God thought Adam was good (and says so!), God also realized that this new creature shouldn’t be left to his own devices. Adam was going to need some help. So God created Eve.
Now here’s where God makes God’s first mistake. I know. I know. God is supposed to be perfect, but we need to cut this new parent a little slack. Any seasoned parent knows that a surefire way to get a child to do a certain thing is to tell said child that certain thing is the one thing s/he should never, ever do.
Adam and Eve could have whatever they wanted from the entire garden—except the fruit from the tree of knowledge. They were never to eat the fruit from that one tree.
Any fourth grader could tell you what’s about to happen next.
If they were casting this story as a movie today, the snake would most likely be replaced by a compilation of every bad guy who ever appeared in a 1980s John Hughes movie. A cross between a spoiled rich kid and a burned-out principal would be tempting Eve to eat the apple in a move that would be half-seduction/half-intimidation.
Of course, after both Eve and Adam have eaten the forbidden fruit and gotten caught by God, Adam blames Eve. She gave me the apple (probably more like a pomegranate). He knew it was a dick move the moment the words came out of his mouth, but by then, it was too late. The damage had been done. They realized they were naked. They were terribly ashamed. Paradise was lost.
This is often called the story of original sin, but perhaps it is better thought of as the story of original shame. The moment shame entered our world. The moment that humans begin to feel that we are unworthy.
And we’ve been wandering in the wastelands ever since, bearing the shame we’ve been trying to shed since time begin—despite the efforts of THE God to offer us the Way home.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer is an online, inclusive and progressive Christian community. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.