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10 OT B ~ Gen. 3:9-15 ~ "What Lies are You Believing?" Susan McGurgan, D.Min.



What lies are you believing?

 

Worthless.

Failure.

Unloved.

 

What lies are you believing that invite you to live in fear or envy? What lies hiss in your ear, twisting your view and warping your relationship with God and others? What lies do you believe that blind you to the goodness of God’s mercy and protection?  

 

She’s better than you.

Don't trust anyone.

Grab what you can, when you can.

You are alone.

No one cares.

Money rules.

You will never be forgiven.


What lies are you believing?


One of the lies that evil tells us is that with enough power, enough knowledge, enough boldness, we can live solely for ourselves--and prosper. One of the lies temptation whispers is that we can rely on our own courage, our own will, our own resources--and thrive. We can determine our fate and grasp our future with both hands. Alone.    

 

What lies are you believing?  

 

This passage of the Fall in Genesis 3 shows us the pattern of how sin enters our lives and burrows deep. But even more than a cautionary tale of temptation, sin, and consequences, this passage narrates the story of God’s abiding desire to walk with us; to be in close relationship with us; to form a covenant bond so strong and so enduring, it endures even our own frailty and sin.

 

What lies are you believing?

 

This is the story of that hopeful, challenging, dangerous time between the beginning of human sin and the gift of Christ’s redemption.  This story reminds us of the ways that sin changes us; marks us; separates us from the God who searches for us in the Garden.


If we look, we can see the lasting fingerprints of sin in our own lives, and in the lives of those around us.

Sin makes us afraid.

Makes us ashamed.

Makes us want to hide.

Makes us blame each other.  

Sin separates us from God

by overturning God’s order and will.  

Sin makes our hearts rocky and our lives hard.

 

What lies are you believing?

 

Coming to maturity means taking responsibility for our actions. In this story, and in the story of humanity, we see our tendency to seek a scapegoat when our choices and actions lead to disaster. In Genesis, the man blames the woman, and the woman blames the snake. In our world, we blame our troubles on bad luck, a rotten deal, rich people, poor people, strangers and immigrants, people who look or act or believe in different ways. Them. Neighbor points to neighbor. Nation blames nation. Politicians scapegoat the opposition. Religious leaders circle the wagons and guard the perimeter.  "It's their fault! They did it!"


This narrative invites us to stop and listen for God’s voice asking, “Where are you?” 

 

Embedded deep within this narrative--a narrative that illuminates the complex and paradoxical nature of humanity, there is a clear proclamation of Good News. God does not abandon us or leave us to face our weakness alone. Even before God confronts us with our sins, God comes out to meet us asking, “Where are you?”


This story begins with humanity’s pride and vulnerability and ends with God’s abiding mercy. “Where are you?” Despite our rebellion, God holds out a future filled with possibility. Despite our weakness, God offers a covenant bond connecting us to the goodness of creation. Despite our blindness, God invites us to live in beauty. Despite our sin, God offers us Christ, who will take on that sin so we might also live in freedom.  

 

God continues to walk with us—in the garden, in the wilderness, in the flawed and fragile world.  God continues to walk with us—loving us, teaching us, extending us mercy, and inviting us to grow up and embrace the full measure of our human dignity. This narrative is a powerful witness to the  God who not only remains, but who seeks us out when we are lost. 


“Where are you?” 

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