Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Genesis 3:23

In recent years, a band that I've become attached to is one of a peculiar sort. The name itself is a bit odd and the songs are equally a bit (or a lot) off center. The band is The Mountain Goats, primarily made up of principle singer/songwriter John Darnielle. I too am a bit of an "odd duck" so perhaps my being drawn to the Goats is because these are the songs I would write if only I could write. I'm also drawn because they are songs that often deal with things of life - even eternal life.

As I was reading through the opening chapters of Genesis this morning, a recent album by the Mountain Goats came to mind called "The Life and the World to Come." On this release, each song is titled by a biblical verse. For example, here are some of the well recognized verses and song titles; Romans 10:9, Hebrews 11:40, Psalm 40:2, to name a few. One in particular caught my attention as I read Genesis 3 this morning - Genesis 3:23. Here are some of the lyrics:

House up in Claremont, where I used to live
Picked the lock on the front door, and I felt it give

Touch nothing, move nothing, stand still
Keep my ears open for cars
See how the people here live now
Hope they're better at it than I was

I used to live here...

Now, Genesis 3:23:

"So the Lord god banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which had been taken. "

It's true. We used to live here; in the Garden where the green grass grew and the gardens were in full-bloom. Sadly, however, as this song reflects in a modern sort of way, this is no longer the case. We've been banished on this side of Heaven. We can't return. In fact, we don't even know where the Garden is. And yet, as Christ followers, we know that there is another side. We believe that there is a Life and a World to Come that will allow us to return once again. And in a world with some much trouble and turmoil, we long for that day.

As a side-note, Darnielle is not a Christian. In fact, he's a declared Agnostic whose unsure of what lies ahead. But isn't it interesting that he writes so much about the here and now but also the hereafter. Isn't it interesting that he actually reads the Bible?

The Mountain Goats will be performing as the opening act for Bright Eyes this Summer at Meijer Gardens on August 3. It may be worth checking out!