Prepare to Listen. In humility, offer this prayer: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Prayerfully Read Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
15The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. 16And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; 17but 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.’
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat from any tree in the garden”?’ 2The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.”’ 4But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; 5for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ 6So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
Sitting around the family fire one night, a little child asks, Where did sin and evil come from? Let me tell you a story, the parent replies and the child sits enthralled as a story unfolds of funny-named trees, serpents and humans talking to each other and two grown-ups pathetically covering their nakedness with fragile fig leaves. What does it mean, the child asks when the telling is done? It’s quite simple, says the parent, God gave a command, the man and the woman disobeyed it and immediately knew their lives had been changed forever, and not for the better. They then made a silly attempt to hide from God, their Creator.
The Christian Story has deep, very deep roots, all the way back to this puzzling story in the Garden of Eden. It’s our story too and we’re in it. Like the first humans, we know our sin, we’ve also tried to cover it in awkward and useless ways (our fragile fig leaves). Like them, we wait for God to come down and restore us. Lent is a reminder of our need and our waiting for restoration.
The woman is very confident about what she knows but easily swayed by the ‘crafty serpent.’ Reflect on what you know about Christian living with confidence and what might sway you into discarding it and going astray. Turn to God’s Spirit for the wisdom and strength you need to stay the course.
Respond to Jesus
Lord God this story is my story; I too often act too confidently sometimes and get it all wrong. But, I know this isn’t the end of the story and you didn’t walk away from your creation in disgust and you won’t walk away from me. But, today, I’ll live with this difficult story so that I will be more prepared to humbly receive your gracious gift of restoration in Jesus. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world, waiting for full restoration.
Because I believe that Scripture is food for our soul (our entire being) I seek to read it and encourage others to read it in ways that nourish and transform our beings. I invite you to read the Bible with me during Lent and into Easter. I am a Bible teacher, spiritual companion and retreat director. I know the Bile and how to read it for spiritual formation.