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Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7

Context of the text This text comes in the first Sunday in Lent. Lent is a powerful season that reminds the church of its deep sinfulness. This sinfulness is to create this desperate recognition of Christ as a savior. Lent also reminds the church of its physical mortality.  While Christians are getting better at rejecting neo-Gnosticism, where leaving the sinful earth is our goal. Lent does remind all of us or our physical mortality and cautions against an idolatrous temptation that all of one’s hopes and dreams are to be found here on earth. Finally Lent is an invitation to follow Jesus right into the shadow of the Cross. This pilgrimage is a discipline that prepares persons for the resurrection hope to be actual hope. 


Moreover, many Christians will have just come from Ash Wednesday services where these themes are close to them and recalling those themes are important. Yet if this is not true of your local congregation taking time to review those themes is probably important for everyone.

While our Genesis text does not have an immediate connection to the pilgrimage with Jesus, the ideas of sinfulness and death are the center of these Genesis texts.


Chapter 2 began as another perspective of the creation account. Great care is taken to focus on the Garden’s beauty. Verse 9 celebrates all the bountiful trees God has made that were pleasing to the eye and then notes that in the middle are two trees, a tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Within the narrative of sin, it is crucial to celebrate creation is good, trees are good, humans are good. Therefore, sin and death are the outliers, they do not belong. Even after sin the garden, the trees, the fruit, and even humans are still good, but the disease of sin is pervasive and toxic and needs a healing. While the disease of sin is about broken relationships the healing will also be about a restoration and healing of relationships.


In between chapter 2:19 and 3 we have the blessed arrival of Eve, who comes as a gift to Adam, so that there is a fellow laborer in whom God’s love in creation can flourish.