First Sunday of Lent
Kenneth C. Kroohs
Genesis 2:4b-9, 15-17 and 25-3:7; Psalm 51:1-13; Romans 5:12-21; Matthew 4:1-11
Strap in!! This is one of those Sundays when the Scripture includes so many different themes and lessons that we have to run through them like an MTV video! And it becomes especially challenging because I intend to use the majority of this time to focus on another teaching. So at first, all I going to do is throw several thoughts at you. Any that seem to particularly "hit" you, spend some time thinking about. Call me if you would like to discuss them.
In the Genesis reading, consider for a moment that the critical issues was not a piece of fruit, but obedience. That God from the very beginning gave human beings (which is the actual translation of the word "adam") choices. And that maybe, the issue was not the knowledge, but that God knew that human beings would be attracted to evil and unable to resist evil. So God was not being arbitrary but was acting much like a parent who tells their child not to touch the stove because they will be hurt. And when the child disobeys, the child is hurt.
In the psalm, notice verse four: "Against you only have I sinned." Interesting thought, well worth many hours of reflection. That our disobedience to God is the seed from which all our sinfulness, our evil, grows.
In Romans, I told you this would be an MTV video!! Paul is making a very difficult argument. It can be understood many ways but the way I find most helpful is to see it as a commentary on the Genesis reading. That "the law", the Jewish scriptures, is the way we gain the knowledge of good and evil as promised in Genesis. If we were not aware, that is before the law became known, than the actions would not count as sin. Again with the child, if we frequently make cookies for the family, and then one day make a dozen cookies for the church bake sale without telling our child their purpose, and then the child eats a few, it is n ...
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