Sunday, March 5, 2017
Genesis 2: 7 - 9; 3: 1 - 7
The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.
Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.
Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God had made. The serpent asked the woman, "Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?" The woman answered the serpent: "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'You shall not eat it of even touch it, lest you die.' " But the serpent said to the woman: "You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad." The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loin cloths for themselves.
Psalm 51: 3 - 6, 12 - 13, 17
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.
For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: "Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight" - that you may be justified in your sentence, vindicated when you condemn.
A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from your presence, and your holy spirit take not from me.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Letter of Paul to the Romans 5: 12 - 19
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world and with sin death, death thus coming to all men inasmuch as all sinned - before the law there was sin in the world, even though sin is not imputed when there is no law - I say, from Adam to Moses death reigned, even over those who had not sinned by breaking a precept as did Adam, that type of the man to come.
But the gift is not like the offense. For if by the offense of the one man all died, much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound for all. The gift is entirely different from the sin committed by the one man. In the first case, the sentence followed upon one offense and brought condemnation, but in the second, the gift came after many offenses and brought acquittal. If death began its reign through one man because of his offense, much more shall those who receive the overflowing grace and the gift of justice live and reign through the one man, Jesus Christ.
To sum up, then: just as a single offense brought condemnation to all men, a single righteous act brought all men acquittal and life. Just as through one man's disobedience all became sinners, so through one man's obedience all shall become just.
Gospel of Matthew 4: 1 - 11
Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit to be temped by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward was hungry. The temper approached and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to turn into bread." Jesus replied, "Scripture has it: 'Not on bread alone is man to live but on every utterance that comes from the mouth of God. "
Next the devil took him to the holy city, set him on the parapet of the temple, and said, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. Scripture has it: 'He will bid his angels take care of you; with their hands they will support you that you may never stumble on a stone. ' "
Jesus answered him, "Scriptures also has it: 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.' "
The devil then took him up a very high mountain and displayed before him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, promising, "All these will I bestow on you if you prostrate yourself in homage before me." At this, Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! Scripture has it: 'You shall do homage to the Lord your God; him alone shall you adore. ' "
At that the devil left him, and angels came and waited on him.