Greetings to you as we begin our journey in Lent. Yesterday, we had our 131st Annual Diocesan Council (Convention in most Diocese) and had a rousing time with glimpses of hope and the beginning of a discussion which can lead us to our future, a future that doesn’t look like our past. But, that future will be occupied and populated by our better self and our better understanding of life in community – not in the “old way” but in a way that capitalizes on everything we’ve learned since our founding in 1642. May your Lenten journey be fruitful and invigorating.

In worship, we began with the reminder that we, along with all creation across time, have been assaulted by temptation and the distraction of living our authentic life. Yet, not everything is doom and gloom, Jesus came to help us be restored to our right relationship with God. The lesson from Paul’s letter to the Romans reminds us that sin does not originate with us. We have sin as part of the complexity of existence since the Fall. But Jesus helps us be restored without issue by his life among us. Our Psalmist reminds us that the person whose sins are forgiven is happy and lives a fruitful life. We are forgiven when we ask for forgiveness and return to God.

Today’s sermon was based on the combination of our Hebrew Scripture reading from Genesis which recounted Adam and Eve’s identity in relation to and with God. But it also recounted the temptation to be something other than what they were created to be led to their removal from Eden. Counter to that is the story of Jesus’ temptation and avowal of his identity – the Son of God – which had benefits. But those benefits could not be used to manipulate others or to create things on a whim.

Our Lenten journey is an examination of our sin, but not only the woeful part but the things that separate us from our true identity; being beloved by God. Our life is lived in relationship with God and with others. All of us working against sin to be restored to God.

I invite your comments,

Readings: Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11

Listen at:

Video of Worship:

Video of Sermon: