You all know the story, Adam and Eve in the garden. Life is perfecto. No need for fashion sense or cool status clothing logos. In fact, no clothing required. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Lovely weather, not too hot or too cold. Everything a human could want and then some. Just one little caveat about one little tree in the middle of the garden that is hands off. In fact there’s a sign nailed to the tree that simple says “Don’t Do It!” with an upside down swoosh at the bottom. Yet In spite of a perfect setting and everything being hunky-dory human nature takes over and shows it’s limitations. So this talking snake (yes they had them in the olden times I guess) tricks the woman into eating the fruit of the no-no tree. She then gives it to the man. Both made poor choices and then lied about it to God, of all people. The woman blames the snake, the macho man blames the woman. And so it begins. Long story short, they’re kicked out of the garden, decide to wear designer animal skins with a upside swoosh on them and, oh yeah, the best part, they are eventually going to die. The old ashes to ashes thing.
They do begin to realize that (1) the are human after all and (2) they make mistakes. So as time moves forward humanity tries to make up for this first human mistake by offering sacrifices of animals, first fruits of the harvest and other stuff. But that is outward stuff and although it is a sacrifice there doesn’t seem to be a personal connection between it, the sacrifice, and “pleasing” God (if that is at all a possibility). So the psalmist comes along and talks about humans taking responsibility for their actions and acknowledging that they are, well, human.
Sacrifice gives you no pleasure, burnt offering you do not desire.
My Sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, a broken, contrite heart you never scorn. (Ps 51:16-17)
So it seems that as humans, it is OK to be human and it’s also OK to tell ourselves that we can be forgiven in all humility, not humiliation. In today’s political climate I guess it’s not fashionable to admit to mistakes, they think it makes them appear weak. Well if the story of the garden doesn’t blow that idea out of the water I don’t know what will. Letting people know we make mistakes and can be forgiven is not only human, it is strength. Death is the great equalizer in this whole human thing.
…and so it goes.