To me, creation is a marvel. We just got a dump of new snow, and it made me think of New Canaan with snow-covered stone walls and the beautiful white fields of Grace Farms. To think that God brought this world into existence by simply breathing over the waters. . . Why create? God creates because God loves. But, as we look at Genesis 2 and 3, we see the serpent trying to derail human creation by introducing sin and its consequence, death. Or even worse, maybe the serpent was trying to get us to act in such a way that God would stop loving us. Yet God’s creative effort and love would not be thwarted by sin or death. In Numbers 21, the Israelites were bitten by poisonous snakes, but Moses put a bronze snake on a pole (note the EMS insignia), and all who looked on it were healed. This was a poignant symbol to Jews who had just been rescued from an Egyptian culture where the snake represented death.
I read this story, and think of the serpent biting at our heals but its head being crushed. To me, God is saying that death may take a bite out of us, but, in reality, the snake (death) is hanging defeated on a pole. As Jesus’ resurrection shows, we live on. Death is defeated by God’s love, and his creation, humans, are washed clean as the white snow falling outside my window. To those that we have lost, I don’t say “good-bye”; I say, “see you later”.
Associate Pastor Emeritus, Grace Community Church Greg Zehner