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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, March 8, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading |  Genesis 3:22–24

Then the Lord God said, “See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life. (NRSV)

Reflection
I’ve always found this passage to be disquieting. In the story of Creation, God gives life to the earth and forms humanity in God’s image. And as soon as we’ve been introduced to the Creator, God is casting Adam and Eve from the Garden. It’s not easy for me to wrap my mind around this, to reconcile the loving God that I know with a God seemingly so quick to anger.

But is it really anger? I’m probably bringing some of my own theological baggage in by using that language. In reading back over the first three chapters of Genesis, I don’t see a God of anger but a God of love and justice. If we go back just one verse, we see God making garments for Adam and Eve and clothing them. That isn’t the act of an angry God. It’s an act of compassion and caring.

If this passage gives us a glimpse of God’s character, it also lays out very clearly how we as humans are to live. What particularly sticks out for me is when God says, “the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil.” That knowledge brings great responsibility. We can see injustice. And we must fight that with the love that God has shown us.

Prayer
God of love and justice, thank you for giving life to this world. Keep our eyes open to the pain and suffering around us so that we might carry your grace into this world. Amen.

Written by Jared Light, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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