I Don’t Adam And Eve It
“’The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!’”
Mark 1:15 (NIV)
Adam and his trouble and strife got into real Barney rubble; they didn’t have the eighteen pence to know that the Joe Blake was telling them pork pies. God had told them they would be brown bread if they were tea leaves. But the cheese and kisses took a butchers’ hook and liked what her mince pies saw and they got their Hampstead Heaths into fruit that wasn’t theirs. Then they ducked and dived. But God showed them the Henry Moore and they were out in potatoes in mould. What a Lionel Blaire. And all because they didn’t Adam and Eve him.
For any puzzled overseas readers, that’s Cockney rhyming slang, which is a coded language started in the nineteenth century in the East End of London. It replaced a word with a phrase that rhynes with it. I have put the whole phrase in, but often the second word in the phrase was dropped, making a sentence incomprehensible to others, in particular the newly formed police force of the time.
Translated, the paragraph reads: Adam and his wife got into real trouble. They didn’t have the sense to know the snake was telling them lies. God had told them they would be dead if they were thieves. But the missus (wife) took a look and liked what her eyes saw and they got their teeth into what wasn’t theirs. Then they hide. But God showed them the door and they were out in the cold. What a nightmare. And all because they didn’t believe him.
How ironic that the rhyming slang for ‘believe’ is ‘Adam and Eve’. How different our world would have been if they had believed God. And right at the beginning of Mark’s gospel, he tells us that Jesus came, urging us to do just that—turn and believe. Later when the crowds that followed him asked what they should do to do the works of God, Jesus told them, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:28-29) Just simply believe, yet sometimes that seems not so simple. But if we are troubled we can pray: “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.” After all, Jesus always ‘Adam and Eved’ his Father, and he will do so in us.
Lord, when we struggle with doubts, when our heritage of distrust troubles us, come to us and strengthen us in our weakness with your unfailing belief.
Study by Hilary Buck
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
LEWES BN7 2XN
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