Daily Devotional for Small Group Discussion: The Fall before the Fall
- What do you believe you lack? Who—or what, or when—reinforces the notion that you lack something?
- When did you first hear the message that you are not enough for God—not good enough, not sin-less enough, not spiritually confident enough? And if you didn’t hear this message about God, when did you first receive a message that you are not enough for someone(s) else?
- Who and what reminds you that you are beloved, that you are holy, that you already have sacred worth?
God created humankind in the image of God: male and female they were created. – Genesis 1:27 (NRSV)
If you grew up in the church, it’s possible you learned that God’s dreams for humanity were shattered when Eve ate the “forbidden fruit.”
The real tragedy happened earlier, when the serpent said, “If you eat of this fruit you will be like God” and Eve, forgetting she was like God already, believed it. In truth, there was nothing she could add to herself—fruit or anything else—that would make her more like God.
Imagine someone offering to make you human. That’s laughable! You are already human. But what if the idea had been planted in your head that you are not fully human? What if you had been dehumanized for days, months, years? Eventually, you would be susceptible to the idea that you needed something outside yourself— a potion, a new diet, a self-improvement fruit—to become what you already are.
Eve heard and internalized that message. “You are not made in God’s image. You are not like God. But if you eat this…!”
We are vulnerable to the same serpentine misinformation: “You are not enough. You are not beloved as you are. You are not loved by God. You are not God’s own reflection. You need something else…” As soon as we believe we are not enough, that we lack something, we are always grasping, always wanting, always clinging, and it’s never enough.
The desecration, the “Fall,” comes when we are told and we believe that God is outside of us, when holiness and belovedness are already there, undisturbed.
Holy One, for all of us who struggle to affirm divinity, let’s start by affirming divinity and sacred worth in ourselves and in others.