First Day of Lent, Ash Wednesday

Scripture: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

The brokenness of the world we live in found its beginning in the first woman and man. The great lie that made the opening for Eve and Adam’s fatal choice was simply this: “Maybe God is really not that good.” They lived in an idyllic place of great peace, abundance and purpose. But the possibility that God didn’t have their best in mind, that God might not love them all that well, that God would withhold good from them turned everything sour. Or should I say, Eve and Adam’s choice to believe the lie turned everything sour? 

Notice that the serpent did not come out and ‘announce’ a lie - saying, “God is not good.” They/we wouldn’t fall for that. Rather, the serpent used distorted truths. Notice how close (and yet how far) the statements are from each other: "Did God really say....?" With enough twisted truth, a lie is formed - and even more powerfully than with a pronouncement. Adam and Eve decided in their hearts that God might not be ‘for them.’ Eve saw that the fruit would be desirable for gaining wisdom. She believed she had better start taking care of herself since God might not be that good.

 We live in our ancestors’ legacy. We tend to live with a basic assumption that we better take care of ourselves since God might not be willing to do so. And so we enter the season of Lent. It is a season of self-examination and repentance (turning and going the opposite direction). The only way to repent - to move toward God and His goodness (rather than moving away from Him in self-reliance) is through God’s Spirit. Romans 8 paints a mind boggling picture of Truth rooted deep in our hearts - that we would know by God’s Spirit within, that He is ‘Abba’, that there is no condemnation for those in Christ and that, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (vs. 31-32).

 Lord Jesus, the One who journeyed through the cross to death itself for our sakes, will you rescue us once again from our fear that you are not good - that you are not truly for us. Free us to run toward you, instead, with hope and trust. Amen.

~Kirsten Waldschmidt, College Park Covenant Church, Saskatoon, SK