But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…”

Genesis 3:4-5

This weekend, we will begin Lent with the passages describing “Original Sin” and the temptation of Christ. In a sense, it is the beginning of the story of our redemption, and therefore is a very good place to start.

As we were discussing last night during our JAM program with the younglings, God placed Adam and Eve in the garden. God told them not to eat the fruit of one particular tree and they did anyway. And that fruit, contrary to popular opinion, was most likely a pomegranate. (Apple is an old Latin scholar joke because the word for apple and the word for evil are nearly identical.)

But why would these first humans intentionally disobey the one commandment God gave?

There have been many theories on this subject over the last several millennia, depending on what one wanted to do with the rest of their theology. However, the thing that always comes back to the forefront is that the original sin was, in fact, idolatry. The first humans wanted to be like God. To play God. To put themselves in God’s position.

Idolatry, at its heart, is not about worshipping images. It is about choosing false gods, sometimes including ourselves.

Throughout history, all sin ultimately comes back to this one. There are countless things we place where God should be in our lives – money, power, human idols, popularity, even religion and scripture. Even worse are those moments when we decide we should get to play God with other people’s lives.

As we enter into our Lenten journey, the question we should all be reflecting upon is what idols do we set up in our own lives? What idols do we let the world place at the center of our world-views? Once we identify them, then we can begin the challenging work of removing them.

Blessed Lent as we walk Christ’s wilderness path together!

Blessings, Pastor Janie

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