“The return of the Red Earth Man” Creation 2 – Land

Genesis 2:15 – 25
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the man there was not found a helper as his partner.
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called Woman, for out of Man this one was taken.” Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed
Matthew 12:38-40 The Sign of Jonah
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, ‘Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.’ But he answered them, ‘An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was for three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth.
The Commendation from the funeral liturgy (Orthodox Kontakion for the Departed)
Give rest, 0 Christ, to your servant(s) with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting. You only are immortal, the creator and maker of mankind; and we are mortal, formed of the earth, and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me, saying, “You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: AlIeluia,alleluia, alleluia.
Etymology of the word Adam
Adam \a-dam\ is pronounced AD-um. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Adam is “earth”. From “adama”. In Hebrew, it is a generic term for “man”. Biblical: in the Genesis account, he was the first man created from the red earth of Eden
Land is an emotional issue.
We are born from it, we long to return to the land where we are born, we will shed blood to defend “our” land, and we end our lives by being returned to it.
Imperial powers through the ages have laid claim to land, with bloody spears and cartography pens. Lines on maps have severed tribes and clans and thus created cauldrons that have boiled over with bloodshed and even genocide. As an African, I remember Rwanda, and I can only imagine the earlier traumas of human trafficked souls ripped from their soil and transplanted on foreign lands to plant crops that they would never share, and build mansions they would never inhabit.
Land is an emotional issue.
Is it because we still echo the fact that we are Adamite, red clay people?

“Formed of the earth and to earth we shall return”

We are soiled souls.
In one of the great sychronicitous ironies where mythology and science intersect, earth scientists have determined that the shift from the only life forms being bacteria and blue green algae, to more complex forms like the Eukaryotes of which we are members, occured 1,9 billion years ago when the Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere dropped, Oxygen increased and RED BEDS formed. Red beds are very shallow-water, river, or soil deposits in which the iron has combined with O2 to form red iron oxide.Reference here We are indeed Adam, red oxide earth people!
So underneath the layers and layers of papered Imperial maps, each demarcating, each delineating assumed possession of the land that never belongs to anyone, there lies the red earth. The soil of our souls. We will never hold title to it, we are not entitled to even assume it is ours.
The ancient land, the seed bed of all origins is the fabric of being that cannot be posessed by transient clay mannikins like us.
Africans knew this before the missionaries came. In Africa, Modimo, Camata, Nkulunkulu (the bantu names of God) lived in the earth and not in the sky. Caves were wombs and portals to the mysteries of life. That is why, in their depths, red clay adamites danced and painted.
It is into these depths that Jesus goes to find us. Like Jonah in the whale, Jesus in the earth belly is questing to the very depths of our genological and geological origins to bring us back to our real senses.
Mud caked, soiled and fecund with potential, he breathes into our clay once more and cries.
Live! Adam Live!
Wake up and heal the land from which you came, and to which you are returning.

Document generated by eLyXer 1.0.0 (2010-07-21) on 2011-09-06T09:18:26.650571


2 responses to ““The return of the Red Earth Man” Creation 2 – Land”

  1. Ben Durham avatar
    Ben Durham

    Thank you, Peter. Yes, we are clay people – formed into earthen vessals, and very often crack(ed) pots. But Jesus still found us worth his incarnation to rescue.

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