Mark Twain “translated” Adam and Eve’s first diaries. On a Wednesday entry, Adam records the following account.
Adam delivers the tragic news that his horse succumbed to a tiger’s teeth. Death entered the scene. While Twain’s work is fiction, the results of sin are far from figurative.
To illustrate, fast-forward from time’s beginning to three hundred years after the birth of Christ. There we visit North Africa and request audience with Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. If you were to converse with Augustine, he would tell you of fruit, specifically the pear. With a fireside chat an impossibility, you will have to settle for his written account.
You may think of stealing pears as paltry sin not worth the time it takes to confess. If so, you miss Augustine’s point and the overall dangerous stain of sin. Hear the Bishop again: "Perhaps we ate some of them, but our real pleasure consisted in doing something that was forbidden."
King David confessed directly to God that he “was sinful at birth . . . from the time my mother conceived me.” And, in reference to his adulthood, the Hebrew leader declared in anguish: “I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.”
In our like state, we discover with regret our “natural” pull toward sin. The fruit, in the forms of lust, greed, power-seeking, fun-loving, peer-impressing, and boredom relief, shines its intriguing texture and exudes its delicious flavor. In our inner ear and perhaps in the outer, we hear the serpent’s call: “You know you want it; take and eat.”
So, before we get to believing in forgiveness, we need to believe in sin.
Sin hurts. Sin kills. “For the wages of sin is death.”
Perhaps you are stuck with a pear in your hand. Perhaps in regard to leaving your sin behind, like Augustine, you keep saying “tomorrow, tomorrow.” But for the Bishop, God turned tomorrow into today and Augustine surrendered to Him and found forgiveness.
Have you experienced the mercy that “melts away [your] sins like ice”?
You can start the journey on the Way of forgiveness. Seek the Way. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6 NIV).
Get to know Jesus.
Ask for and receive forgiveness.
Live by forgiveness.
It all began with an apple. Jesus prepares “a table before you” and invites you to partake of the fruit of forgiveness. Your taste buds will leap with joy at the taste and the flavor will override the bad taste left in your mouth from your apple and pear days.
Saint Augustine. Confessions. Trans. R.S. Pine-Coffin. London: Penguin Books, 1961.
Twain, Mark. The Diaries of Adam and Eve (Translated by Mark Twain). San Francisco: Fair Oaks Press, 2001.
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