Ever since Adam and Eve walked in Paradise, humanity has struggled to see the world as God sees it. He created everything so that we might enjoy eternity with Him, and “everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” (Genesis 2.31) He made creation to lead us to Him. But there was danger lurking in the Garden, and the serpent began to tempt our ancestors, just as he tempts us. He tricked them into seeing God’s creation through selfish eyes rather than God’s eyes. Eve “Saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” (Genesis 3.6) And suddenly our relationship with creation was altered forever. Suddenly humanity thought it was at war with creation, seeking to conquer it rather than live in harmony with God’s creation.
So just about two thousand years ago, God entered creation as one of us humans and sanctified all creation through His Baptism in the Jordan River. He re-established our relationship with His creation when He entered the water, and invited us to rethink about how we see the world and our relationship with it. Shortly after His Baptism, Jesus Christ began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4.17) The very word ‘repent’ means ‘to change the way you look at things’, or ‘to change your point of view.’
Humanity had been viewing the world through the wrong eyes. Rather than seeing life as God wanted us to see it, we saw (and something still do see) life the way WE want to see it. We forgot that God created the entire universe to help us find Him and live with Him. We forgot that the world doesn’t revolve around us, but God. Open Genesis and read it again, and you will see the tree that was so tempting to Eve was one of many trees that produced beautiful fruits to eat. (See Genesis 2.9) It wasn’t even the center of the Garden. The Tree of Life was in the center. Our ancestors’ eyes (and often our eyes) were looking at life all wrong.
Now that we have celebrated the wonderful Feast of Christmas and had our glorious celebration of Epiphany, it is our chance to repent, ‘to change the way WE look at life,’ and begin to look at the world through God’s eyes, rather than through our selfish motivations. Now is our chance to to focus on the kingdom that is at hand, rather than limiting our view to how we can conquer the world around us. Now is our chance to live with God, rather than hide from Him as our ancestors did in the Garden.