Scattered Thoughts on Union

This is a really rough sketch of my thoughts of late. I covet constructive criticism. Very little, if any, of this is original to me. I’m just trying to put it in a coherent order. It might all be hogwash.

God is particularly interested in union. It’s a (the?) major thread in both creation and redemption. Considering just Genesis 1, you see God joining distinct things, even opposite things. He seems to delight in doing that. Light and darkness are joined as Day and Night; Water and Earth become Sea and Land; Air and Dirt comprise the Heavens and the Earth. Each realm God creates he fills with creatures who fit their realm. The Heavens are populated with the stars and ruled by Sun and Moon. The Sea teams with the fish and is ruled by the great sea beasts. The Air is filled with flocks of birds. The Land gives birth to cattle and vegetation. Principalities and powers unknown roam the domain of spirits. Each people are fitted to their kingdom. They have a certain agreement with it. At the pinnacle of these purely earthly unions, Man and Woman are joined together. They are married and so become one flesh. And this earthly union testifies of the highest union of all: that union creation and created beings have with God.

All this God did by speaking. His words brought the constituent elements of creation into being AND put them in their proper order. He did not merely make them and leave them be; He joined them together in varied, beautiful ways. Creation wouldn’t be complete without that joining. Each union makes something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Light by itself, and darkness by itself, are good, but when united as a Day-Night, they make time. A rhythm is begun. Day. Night. Day. Night. Bass. Snare. Bass. Snare. Man and Woman are joined and a family is created. Their love is incarnated in children. They come together in love and passion and that literally becomes a living child. (What a glorious thing.)

Adam was meant to carry on God’s work of union with words, speech, language as his chief tool. As a ‘young’ man, he is placed in the Garden to expand it and as a time of testing and maturing. He would first bring order, that is, proper unions, to the wilderness outside the Garden. He’s a priest in God’s house, singing and loving God’s word to him. In so doing he would mature as a son of God to the point where he could take up kingship over creation (still under God). At the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he should have spoken a curse on Satan. He should have pronounced judgment upon him as a rebel and liar. (Satan’s aim and means of attack are opposite those of God and his people: God’s aim is union and speaking truly is the means to that end; Satan’s is disunion and lying is his weapon.) Had he done that he would prove himself to be the rightful king of all creation. He would have pulled the sword (God’s law/word) from the stone, so to speak. We know that’s not what he did. He rather threw in his lot with Satan and became a rebel and liar himself. He plunged all under his headship into that same rebellion.

In redeeming us, God is setting the world to rights. He isn’t erasing the pattern he established. He’s rejoining the bonds that were broken in the fall. That means that the redemptive order is all about union, as well. Union with Christ. The sacramental unions. The communion of saints. Communion with God. Worship is all about union. It assumes union. It strengthens union. It proclaims union. It creates union.

I think all sin can probably be thought of in terms of either dissolving unions that ought to be, trying to make unions where there ought not be, or both.

Lying, particularly, is evil because it is effectual in breaking bonds. It is the inversion of what Man was made to do in his highest state: to call good good and evil evil, as God his Father would do. A lie broke the union between God and man, between man and woman, between man and creation. It even disintegrated the Man himself. Now he will fall apart, back into the dust.

For men, life is frustration now. Where we were meant to see rightly, to understand how things should be united, to speak in accordance with that truth, and to execute our pronouncements, now we are blind, we have darkened minds that can’t put the pieces of creation together as they ought to be, we can’t speak rightly, and we lack the will to do well.

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