Genesis 2: 4-17 & 3: 1-7

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New Resources

  • Tempting Wisdom

    Video with Eric Anderson
  • Muddy Revelations

    by Mary Austin
  • Lent 1A (2020)

    by Phil Heinze
  • Fall of Man

    Art and Theology by Victoria Jones
    The idea of “ghosts upon the earth” is inspired by C. S. Lewis’s allegorical novel The Great Divorce, in which a group of travelers from a “grey town” are taken by bus to heaven, a land that proves to be far more solid, more real, than even the travelers’ own bodies. “Sometimes it seems like the most real thing is what we can see and experience with our senses around us—this life, the tangible,” Michael Gungor said. “Ideas like love, like God, these things sometimes feel more disconnected and ethereal, like that’s the ghostly realm. But what if that’s wrong and God and love is actually what is most real, and we are more like ghosts walking upon the earth, hoping to become more real?”...
  • Know It All?

    by Katie Kime
    the lie of addiction is that I, the addict, have God-like powers. I have control. I can stop drinking or using anytime. The leading historian of American 12-step programs writes that the most critically important singular message of 12-step programs can be summed up as: Not-God. As in, I am not God. Consider that for a moment. Now, my point here is not to uplift 12-step programs as a solution to addiction, because actually, plenty of folks have found other pathways more helpful in their recovery. Like any human institution, 12-step programs certainly have their flaws. But my point is that, if we can agree addiction is arguably the biggest public health crisis of our time, and if such huge numbers of people do the monumentally difficult work of overcoming addiction by practicing a spiritual principle, that seems worth our attention! Before I spent so much time with folks in recovery, if you had told me all this, I would have said, "Okay, that's great. We Christians have go that covered. We know we're not God." But do we? I can say that I struggle with all kinds of attachments, all kinds of ways that I reach for God-like knowledge and God-like power...
  • Sermon Starters (Lent 1A)(2020)

    by Stan Mast
    Homer’s famous work, The Odyssey, recounts the mythical voyage of Odysseus and his men. It was a voyage filled with bizarre dangers, like a giant with one eye in the middle of his forehead. But perhaps the greatest danger came from the Sirens. The Sirens were irresistible women who got the attention of unwary sailors with their incredibly beautiful songs. By mesmerizing sailors with their song, the Sirens lured countless ships onto the reefs surrounding their island, where ships were wrecked and sailors killed by the wild surf and jagged rocks. Odysseus knew about the Sirens, so as his ship approached their island, he plugged the ears of his crew with wax to keep them from hearing their deadly music. He, however, wanted to hear the Sirens’ songs, so he had himself lashed to the mast of his ship. When he heard the songs, he struggled with all his might to get free, even though he knew it meant certain death. But the ropes held and the wax worked, so he and his men escaped unharmed...
  • Lent 1A (2020)

    by Kate Matthews
  • Creation and Fall

    Podcast with Robb McCoy and Eric Fistler
  • The Light Gets In

    by Kirsten Mebust
  • The Tree and the Fruit

    Art and Faith by Lynn Miller
    "The true Southern watermelon is a boon apart and not to be mentioned with commoner things. It is chief of this world's luxuries. King by the grace of God over all the fruits of the earth. When one has tasted it [he] knows what the angels eat. It was not a Southern watermelon that Eve took. We know it, because she repented." --Mark Twain in Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar...
  • Lent 1A (2020)

    by Ryan Mills
  • Formed Together

    by Gregory Rawn
  • Adam, Eve, You and Me

    by David Russell
  • Pulled Off Our Center

    by Daniel Simons
  • Lent 1A (2020)

    by Alphonetta Wines

Illustrated Resources from the Archives

  • More Like God Than We Know

    by John Auer
    ("Surely, on this eve of St. Valentine’s Day, the call to healing is the call to love. Please join me in Wendy Wright’s Litany of the Heart 'Heart of Jesus, hear our prayer “So loving / So humble / So gentle...")
  • Lent 1A

    by Doug Bratt
    In her article entitled, “A Long Obedience,” in the January 7, 2015 issue of The Christian Century, Katherine Willis Pershey writes, “It is strange to think of a particular person as the person with whom I did not have an affair … And yet there is one man I cannot help but think of as the man with whom I did not cheat on [my husband] Benjamin. We had no improper physical contact, no inappropriately intimate conversations. I don’t even know if the attraction was mutual. There was, however, temptation.
  • Naked Reality

    by Christopher Burkett
    ("On one family holiday, my daughter Hannah was stung by a jelly fish and a young mum from a neighbouring party came to her rescue. She wasn't quite naked, but as near as makes not much difference. And it did seem strange, this naked person administering first aid. We were very grateful for her anaesthetic spray, but standing next to her, thanking her, was a peculiar experience...")
  • Lent 1A (2017)

    by Brendan Byrne
    I don’t know about anyone else here today, but one of the staples of my childhood was watching Warner Bros. cartoons. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, and my absolute favourite: Foghorn Leghorn, the bombastic, loudmouthed, prank-playing rooster (and I would caution you against making any connections between the nature of his character and the fact that he was my favourite!). Watching these cartoons was a daily event; and for myself and my siblings it was one of the highlights of the day. But here’s the thing: you will no longer be able to watch the classic Warner Bros. cartoons on TV. Indeed, you probably won’t be able to buy the DVDs in stores. Probably the only place you’ll find these cartoons is on the internet, on You Tube and other such locations. I was explaining to someone the other day that the reason why this is the case is that for all that they were hilarious and often clever satires on society, they were also laced with racial and gender stereotypes that in the modern world would simply be considered unacceptable...
  • Victory Over Temptation

    by Michael J. Fish
    ("One of the most compelling stories of Nathaniel Hawthorn is called Young Goodman Brown, the story of a young preacher from Salem Village who has an eerie meeting with the devil himself...")
  • A Word from Adam

    by Owen Griffiths
    Hi, God. It’s been a while since I’ve talked with you. You have to forgive me—of course, you’re good at that—but I’ve been kind of busy. I really like this snow that you’ve made. It’s cold, but it’s kind of pretty and we never had it in Eden. Of course, we never had to shovel it, either, but hey! You do what you’ve got to do, right? You like my new outfit? Eve made it. Who’d have thought—you take the wool off of a sheep and then you wash it and spin it around and it becomes long and stringy and you just sort of weave it in and out and you can make all kinds of stuff with it. Not that there was anything wrong with the garments of skin you made for us—heck of a lot better than those dumb fig leaf aprons we made, right?
  • Lent 1A (2011)

    by Scott Hoezee
    ("Genesis 3 reminds us of how things go when suspicion displaces trust, when self-reliance and an independent spirit trump a belief that there is a God who has our best interests at heart. And so the slogan 'Trust and obey' gets displaced by 'Analyze and retrofit'. A church choir's rendition of 'If you but trust in God to guide you' gets drowned out by Frank Sinatra belting out, 'I did it my way!'...")
  • Shortcut to Wisdom

    by Donald Hoffman
    ("There was a time when you thought animals could speak, and you didn't care if you wore clothes, and you didn't know what death was. 'Turn backward, turn backward, O Time in thy flight, and make me a child again, just for tonight.'...")
  • Just One of Those Sins

    by Richard Jinman
    ("Most people believe the seven deadly sins are out of date, and that traditional transgressions such as sloth, gluttony and lust should not stop you passing through the Pearly Gates....")
  • The Pit

    by Paul Larsen
    ("Whether we want to admit it or not, we are pit-dwellers. Adam and Eve dug the first pit and we have never been able to get out of it. Some say they dug it with disobedience. They ate the forbidden fruit. They were told, "Don't do thin vand they did it anyway....")
  • Where the Wild Things Are

    by Anne Le Bas
    I’m sure many people here know Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. Max, a small boy in an animal costume, runs riot round his house until his mother tells him he’s a wild thing and sends him to bed without his supper. But in his room a forest grows, and a boat appears and Max sails away to a distant island “where the wild things are”. They have a wonderful wild rumpus together, until Max starts to feel a bit lonely, and wants to be where “someone loved him best of all”. So he sails home to his room, and there is his supper on the table, where his mother has left it for him – “and it was still hot”, says the story. What seemed like years was really only a short time.
  • It All Started in the Beginning

    by Rick Miles
    Nathan Horwitt, a noted authority on mushrooms, has said that a mushroom, which is properly known as AMANITA PHALLOIDES, is the deadliest of all mushrooms. It is also possibly the tastiest, says Horwitt. Asked how he knows this, he explains that the poison is slow﷓acting and that often the first symptom of poisoning is communicated when the victim remarks, "Last night I ate the most delicious mushroom of my life." It’s just like temptation; luscious to the taste, but bitter in the stomach; delightful to the eyes, but sickening to the soul; all the promises of life on our own terms, but with death coming in its wake...
  • Shortcuts and Hard Yards

    by Nathan Nettleton
    My daughter has a story book called The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek. The story tells of a bunyip who crawls out of the murk at the bottom of the creek one day and doesn’t know what he is. In order to find out what he is, he begins asking all the creatures he encounters. Some of them are able to tell him that he’s a bunyip, but when he asks them what bunyips are like, they are less than helpful, telling him only that bunyips are horrible or even that bunyips don’t really exist. It is only when another bunyip crawls out of the murky depths and begins to ask the same “who am I?” question, that the bunyip is able to understand and begin celebrating who he is. One of the reasons that the story of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden is such a powerful and enduring story is because it too holds up a mirror and enables us to recognise ourselves and know ourselves.
  • Lent 1A (2017)

    by Aimee Niles
    We so often see God as a God of rules, laws, and regulations. It is through this lens that we often see God’s restriction on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil--we concentrate on the exception, not the lavish nature of God’s permission. And when we focus on the limitations God demands, what does that say about our view of God?...
  • Seeing Ourselves Through God's Eyes

    by Paul Nuechterlein
    I’d like to share one other story this morning, one of my favorites, one that I watch at this time of year. It is the movie Groundhog Day, with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell as the two stars. Bill Murray plays Phil Connors, a self-centered, not-very-likable local TV weather man in Pittsburgh; and Andie MacDowell plays Rita, his kind and considerate producer, who doesn’t care much for her weather man’s self-centeredness. Phil, because he cares about Rita, comes to see himself through her eyes, as someone who will always disappoint in the end, reverting to his selfishness. Well, the story goes like this, on the evening of February 1, they travel to nearby Punxsutawney, Pa., for a date with that famed weather-prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog. As Bill Murray’s character Phil gets up at 6 am on February 2 to be there for Groundhog’s Day, he has no idea that a strange adventure is about to begin for him. He goes through the motions, finds himself stuck in Punxsutawney because of a blizzard, and stays another unexpected night. When the alarm clock goes off the next morning at 6am, it’s not the next day, February 3. No, it’s February 2, Groundhog Day, again; and he discovers that all the events of the day happen just as the day before, with the only variable being him. In fact, he finds himself trapped in a loop to seemingly live this one day over and over again. He is the only person who remembers that he is living the day again. At one point he is so despairing that he kills himself numerous times — only to find that he still wakes up again at 6am on Groundhog’s Day...
  • Lent 1A (2017)

    by Joseph Parker, Jr.
    Many English translations show that after God “put” the man “into the garden of Eden” he was assigned “to cultivate it and keep it” (2:15). But “put” could mean “caused to rest,” within the context of safety, particularly in God’s presence and be dedicated to God. Resting does not necessarily equate to being still and doing nothing. Indeed, “to cultivate” actually means “to serve” or “to work” and “to keep” means “to take care,” which includes protecting and guarding. With that understanding, the man was to serve and take care of the garden, not own, control or dominate it. These responsibilities may also be seen as having to do with spiritual service that is dedicated to God...
  • Losing Our Way in Eden

    by Christopher Vogt
    ("In his book A Daring Promise, Richard Gaillardetz dwells at length on this passage of scripture, asking in particular how we are to understand this line: 'and they realized that they were naked'. After they eat of the fruit, Adam and Eve seek to escape their nakedness. Gaillardetz suggests that nakedness is symbolic of vulnerability. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were at peace with vulnerability. After they have fallen, Adam and Eve refuse to be vulnerable...")

Other Resources from 2017 to 2019

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Other Resources from 2014 to 2016

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Other Resources from 2011 to 2013

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Other Resources from 2008 to 2010

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Other Resources from the Archives

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Children's Resources and Dramas

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The Classics

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