Mystic Sunday School: Adam & Eve Exiled from the Garden of Eden; Go Deeper Within Self!

Old Fashioned Sunday School” Contemplating Christ: How to Become a Mystic without Really Trying!

What will the church of the future look like?

The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner famously said, “The Christian of the future will be a mystic or he will not exist at all/” Rahmer was convinced that the secularization of life that began after the end of the Second World War would pull people away from the church. He feared that, if people did not have a deep experience of God, they would not commit themselves to a sustained life of faith.

This term, we are looking at what it means to be a mystic (it’s not as extraordinary as you might think!) and how the recovery of contemplative tradition in the church might change how we go about being church.

This week, we will look at the dramatic story in Genesis 2 and 2 of Adam and Eve and their exile from the Garden of Eden. Canon George Maxwell will talk about what this story tells us about ourselves and where we should look for the God of love that we long to know.

Announced during The Parish Notices part of the 8:45 Service, I searched and found the above description in the Adult Education section of the bulletin. Intrigued by the word ‘mystic’ I decided to attend the old-fashion Sunday School! After all I like anything old-fashion in life; past, present, and future!

As it turned out the 8:45 sermon about God being relationships, was a perfect lead in to relationships between men and women, especially romantic, spiritual, and committed relationships. And of course, it all began with Adam and Eve or I learned in class Adam-Eve (signifying oneness; originally!).

Here are my notes from Canon George Maxwell’s class:

First of all it was a packed class but rather than in a classroom, it was in a large gathering space; probably 200-300 people! Plus this wasn’t the first week as it started with a review of the previous class. Thank God where God is—The Cathedral!

Although I missed the first session, Canon Maxwell made a statement along the lines that he had to start in the middle of the story last week and this week would be the beginning and all the pieces would fall into place. For me they did!

“You did not frustrate my expectations,” is to say everybody, teacher included was in the learning mode and happy with the first session. That was obvious by the spirit, attention, and dynamic presence of Scripture in the room!

Mystic traditions have a direct experience in the church—as evidenced by the experience of Jesus with The Father. Do we have the faith of Jesus or are we just imitating his behavior? This was a key point and “goes deeper than that.”

Who are you versus what you do? Faith in Christ is Faith of Christ!

Be drawn into a new relationship with Christ…

Jesus was God and I am not! “We are worse than we think but we also have more potential than we think!”

This class on the “Myth of Eden” will not address history, rather what is happening inside of us all the time! This is how God works within us; the pattern of God’s behavior.

What it means to be human—it goes much deeper than that!

In the Garden of Eden everything was connected; there was unity; God was in everything; there was a presence of connectivity.

There was one person—he was called everything—he was called Adam. The creation of Adam was really the creation of all humanity.

In the Garden of Eden was the Tree of Life and the Tree of Good and Evil. God forbade Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of either tree. Note that Adam and Eve never agreed to this.

Basically God needs a parenting class! What parent would put a temptation in front of a child, tell them not to touch it, and leave the room?

The snake in the tree; the Tempter; Satan deceived Eve and Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the Tree of Forever.

Adam-Eve fell apart; there was no longer a oneness; connectivity, and unity/ There was an immediate focus on differences’ Adam and Eve, Good and Bad; us versus Them; In Crowd versus Out Crowd.

Adam and Eve were naked, ashamed, cold and hiding from God.

Where is God in that moment of our lives? The ‘you’ you think of you is being threatened. Fear; who do we rely upon? It should be God but usually it is not!

Give us life versus tools for life. Instruments to be used for life (money, etc.) versus the source of life itself.

Is it “Spiritual Maturity” or Narcissism? Go spend a week thinking about your self.

We are reliving the Myth of Eden all the time! Go deeper and the Bible becomes a prayer book! It gives us a higher level of consciousness; we learn how to be in the presence of God!

In reality the presence of differences is good. Prior how could we make something out of nothing? Bit we can make something out of differences. Dualistic thinking—grow through one to get to the other.

The Garden of Eden was destroyed so Adam and Eve were forced to leave. It was too much for them, like Moses in the Exodus not wanting to see God. The Garden of Eden was not destroyed. Like the father in the Prodigal Son Parable; God is always rushing out to meet us, forgive us, love us!

Don’t play the ‘Blame Game.’ Adam; Eve did not make you do it; take responsibility for one’s own behavior.

God comforted Adam and Eve and provided them with clothes; garments of light; an act of love!

The story of Adam and Eve has more power to you as a myth though validate through history and science.

Interior Lives; Contemplative Paths… seeking a better relationship with God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit… honesty with self; desire to be loved for who I am…

Desire to be loved for who I am but are we willing to reveal who I am?

My thoughts and spiritual awakenings:

The phrase it “goes deeper than that” came up about a handful of times during the one-hour class! I like to go deeper, be more contemplative, go within to find God, Jesus, and The Holy Spirit! To go within to find self!

Very powerful perspectives here… a splendid spiritual surrender to let my life be used for God’s Will through relationships with God, my self and others; friends and strangers!

We are different but let us relate and create God’s Kingdom here on Earth…

Perhaps the Garden of Eden is Heaven; our one connection with God, Jesus, and The holy Spirit beyond this world…

See beyond what seems to be…

TROML Baby (an exclamation of Joy and Gratitude)!

CLICK HERE for a Link to the Website of the Cathedral of St. Philip!

(Andy Reistetter; Facebook Post with 13 Pics; 9-28-19)



Speak Your Mind