- Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
- Psalm 32
- Romans 5:12-19
- Matthew 4:1-11
During Lent in Year A, the readings provide a primer in Christianity as outlined in Paul’s letters to the Romans and Ephesians. These epistle readings pick up the theme from the Hebrew Scripture readings and the gospel.
The second story of the Creation and Fall of man and woman in the Garden of Eden opens our readings today. It tells how God has given us the choice of disobedience and awareness of good and evil so that we may come to recognition of our need for God’s saving grace. Paul contrasts human sin from the time of Adam (and Eve) with God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ response to temptation is the opposite of Adam and Eve’s. Being led by the Spirit into the wilderness after his baptism, and hungry after a long fast, Jesus is tempted to prove that he is indeed the Son of God with supernatural powers. Jesus’ response to the devil is “no.”
Thoughts for reflection:
- How would you characterize the temptations of Jesus? What are some of the tactics used by the devil to tempt Jesus? What do Jesus’ responses tell us about right relationships with God?
- What were the temptations faced by the first man and woman? How do these temptations compare with those of Jesus? What are some of the temptations in our own lives that distort our understanding of and response to God’s call to us?
Today’s baptismal theme is saying “no” to evil so that the Christian can say “yes” to Christ. Our readings also offer an opportunity (as they will throughout the coming weeks) to explore the Baptismal Rite. On this first Sunday of Lent, reflect upon the renunciations (BCP 302):
- Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
- Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
- Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?
Let us Pray.
Because the world is beautiful, and beauty is a tender thing, and we are stewards of creation, we need you, God. We need you, God.
Because Human knowledge seems endless, and we do not know what we do not know, we need you, God. We need you, God.
Because we cannot live without you and are free to go against you, and could worship our wisdom alone, we need you, God. We need you, God.
Because you came among us, and sat beside us, and healed our pain and let us wound you, and loved us to the end, and triumphed over all our hatred, we need you, God. We need you, God. Amen.
Iona Community Worship Book
- Ash Wednesday (prayerbookguide.wordpress.com)