Tuesday of Pentecost 19 – Genesis 2:18-25

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

I needed a battery at the local sell-everything big-box store the other day. It was a specialized battery, one of those flat little things that fit in a watch. I was directed to the electronics department. The young person who assisted me there was in transition, in the process of going from man to woman. He was quite helpful, and I said nothing intentionally offensive; although, it is getting harder and harder to avoid that in these situations. I never know quite what is offensive this week.  

As I waited for my card to process and get my receipt, I wondered what had led to this place for this young person. I am sure my thoughts would have been offensive and when the thought police develop accurate thought detectors, I will surely have to move from Portland. On a larger scale I find that I am wondering what has led to the place where we find ourselves as a society. Genesis 2 says that God made us male and female, that is a created category, not a chosen category. It does not say everyone will like it or that it is completely without tension, but it is given to us by a creator, a higher authority. My battery assistant believes that something as fundamental as sexual identity is something which can be chosen, put on and off like a garment. It might be far more complex than a new shirt and pair of pants, involving surgery and medicine, but it is still a choice which can be made. Articulating a different view, a view which reflects this passage in Genesis and its fundamental understanding of what it means to be a creature of God is one of the great challenges of our generation for the Christian. God loves my battery assistant, you see. He grieves for the damage sin has done to his creation and the pain which has brought many to reject God and His authority. How will we speak of God’s love to people, to all people? Pray for wisdom and pray for good witnesses to the joy, peace, and contentment of healthy, loving marriages.

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