1st Sunday in Lent, March 5, 2017
First Sunday in Lent (Year A)
Scripture Readings*: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11; Psalm 32
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
The disobedience of Adam and Eve shatter the innocence and harmony of original Creation. The significance of that defiance has impacted the entire human race. The craftiness of the enemy tempted Adam and Eve. Sin is always enticing, but its consequence is devastating.
The story of the Fall is Scripture’s explanation for the sin and evils that mar society, corrupt personal and international relationships, and doom us to biological and spiritual death.
In this passage, Paul addresses “death,” not so much as biological, but as a spiritual condition rendering humankind powerless. He reveals that “sin” is an inner moral corruption alienating humans from God and making final judgment a dreaded certainty.
Adam’s sin, which introduced biological and spiritual death, poses a dark and grim situation for our present life, and the life to come. In contrast, Paul reminds us that through the death of Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, Jesus intersects our dilemma and offers us life rather than death.
Jesus is also aware of the powers of temptation. In His temptation in the wilderness, even in His weakened condition, Jesus gives us a model of how we, too, can overcome temptation: By acting on principles found in God’s Word. By understanding – and acting – on the Word of God, we overcome temptation.
What’s the Word?
In the Gospel reading, Jesus experiences His own Lent. He’s isolated. He’s hungry. And He’s without provision. In these moments, it’s easy to look for the quick fix – tempting to find an easy out and avoid the pain. But Jesus doesn’t do this. Instead, He gives us an example to follow… “It is written…”
Jesus relies on the Word of God as His foundation for decisions of action and attitude. Notice He makes no attempt to dismiss or refute feelings of hunger, hardship, or loneliness. He hurts – and He knows it. But He doesn’t allow His hurt to direct His decisions. In allowing God’s Word to serve as His compass, Jesus enters a place of divine protection and provision.
What’s guiding you this Lenten Season? Whatever you’re facing – whatever you’re feeling – God’s Word leads to a place of refuge and refreshing.
Prayer for First Sunday in Lent – God of mercy, although I am tempted and weak, help me find You mighty to save; through Jesus Christ, Amen.
*Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary, Year A