In Adam

Torah Reading: B’reisheet (Genesis 1:1-6:8)
Gospel Reading: 1 Corinthians 12-13
Commentary by: Matthew Day

Augustine said that we were all in Adam when he sinned. In other words, Adam’s sin was not just individual but corporate, encompassing all of humanity. He was “the man,” ha-adam, the representative for all humankind. From this it follows that the death that resulted from his sin is also corporate. All are subject to it. Indeed, we see suffering and injustice afflict people of all races, religions, ages, genders, etc. (Though not always equally.) Death and her children are indiscriminate.

But, we're like Adam. We want to separate ourselves from the rest. Instead of confessing to being a part of the rebellious human race we say, “Them. They're the cause of all this suffering. They're the ones bringing judgment upon us. They're the ones dividing us. They're the sinners.” Or we blame our ancestors: “That Adam you created. He's to blame. If only he didn't eat from that tree.”

We're like Cain. We want nothing to do with the suffering of our fellow man. “Why should I care about what happens to them? Why can't I just close my eyes and pretend there is no problem?”

Awareness of sin and awareness of suffering are two things we try to bury in Western society. We don't want to see that we are naked. So, we cover ourselves in band-aid solutions — whatever will dull the pain. Too often we're not even aware we're doing it.

Before you can find healing, you have to feel the pain. You have to peel away the scales that have grown over your heart of flesh. As I said earlier, the sin and the suffering are corporate, so to fully grasp the gravity of the problem you have to immerse yourself in humanity. Like Yeshua did. You have to hear the stories of your neighbor and walk in the shoes of a stranger. You have to be your brother's keeper, recognizing that we're all in this together.

You have to identify with the body of Christ. When one member suffers, we all suffer. When one member sins, we all repent. And when one member rejoices, we all rejoice. We are all members of one another.