This later reading has begun to plug a huge void in my own reading; far from seeking to find God, stories that I slept through 25 years ago now seem worth following – simply for the sake of their being interesting stories.
Having argued against reading ‘Noah and the Ark’ again, we struck a deal to set about reading through the Old Testament and New Testament, in order. So, we read the eight pages that were devoted to ‘God Made the World’ and ‘The Garden of Eden’, the second of these two stories featuring the paragraph:
God knew what had happened. ‘You can no longer stay here,’ said God. ‘You must
go out into the wide world where you will find good things and bad things all
mixed together. Your life will be hard, and one day you will die.’
In our house, that’s a recipe for formative theological debate:
Alex: I wonder why they ate the apple.
Alex: Maybe they were just hungry.
Alex: (pause, thinking) So, if God had just kept working for a bit longer, and made them a packed lunch, then maybe they wouldn’t have had to eat the apple?
Shane: I suppose.
Alex: Or he could have just given them a massive packet of Quavers.
Alex: (contentedly) Ah well, fat pigs!
Shane: Be sure to not let your grandma hear you talk like that.
Alex: (objecting) I didn’t call her a fat pig! I called Adam and Eve fat pigs!
Shane: Yes, I know you did – and grandma wouldn’t find that funny.
Alex: Why not?
Shane: Because… because grandma likes God a lot, and she wouldn’t want to hear you calling his creations ‘fat pigs’.
Alex: Well -
Shane: It’s sleep time.
Alex: Can I call you a f-
Shane: No. Good night.
Alex: Good night, thin pig!
Shane: Good night.
I sense that grandma will soon face an odd biblical grilling, and as Alex mixes up his stories, there’s a good chance that she will have to dispel such notions as God ever being a caster of spells, mixer of potions or indeed a plain-as-day wizard.
I bet Jesus would have been a Gryffindor.