- The Creation of Eve, by Lorenzo Maitani
The following meditation on Genesis 2:18-25 was written by the Rev. Dr. Karl F. Fabrizius, pastor at Our Father Lutheran Church in Greenfield, WI, and appears in the Trinity 2012 edition of Gottesdienst, a liturgical and theological journal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Just to clarify: when I refer to the Evangelical Lutheran Church, I am not speaking of the particular polity known as the ELCA, or Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
for Eric and Karen Gorr, who were wed on Saturday, 9 June 2012.
After God’s repeated declaration of good in [Genesis] chapter one, we suddenly hear there is something not good. The words are extremely significant, for they declare that it is not good for man to be alone. In a world where independence is preached as one of the most important values, God’s word rubs us wrong. We take pride in being able to go it alone, but God declares that males and females need each other.
In fact, there is a disturbing trait that more young men and women delay marriage as if they are fine on their own. Indeed, many would say it is just as good to be single and so avoid the encumbrances to finances, time and personal ambition that marriage brings. God teaches that marriage is to be the great gift that eliminates our loneliness, provides help in sharing the burdens of life, and produces more life through childbearing. Through marriage God crucifies our sinful, selfish flesh that he may strengthen the life of faith in His Son.
Even in the order of creation and the way God creates woman, we are to hear the way of the Gospel proclaimed. See how the first Adam is put into a deep sleep just as the last Adam, Jesus, will fall into the sleep of death and rest in the tomb. As a rib was taken from the side of the first Adam to make the woman, so now blood and water pour forth from the side of Christ. Through this water joined to the Word He cleanses His Church in Holy Baptism and makes her His holy Bride. Through the blood flowing forth He provides the wine of the heavenly wedding feast, that is, the life-giving Supper for the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation of His beloved Church. The Church is now one flesh with Christ who is our Bridegroom and our Head. We have been taken from his side. We are called to leave the death of sin bestowed upon us by our earthly father and mother and rejoice in the life given by the last Adam through His Bride the Church. Indeed, the Church continues to bring forth more offspring through water and the Word at the font. There we are born again as His new creation.
Christian marriage is to be a reflection of this great heavenly mystery. The virgin bride is dressed in white as a reminder to her Christian spouse that he is to see the holiness of Christ that has been given her in Baptism. The virgin husband is to pray that he will be like Christ and lay down his life for his wife. Together they bear the burden of this sinful life, confessing that there is no life apart from Christ.