March 13, 2011
First Sunday in Lent
FIRST READING: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
15The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it. 16But the LORD told him, “You may eat fruit from any tree in the garden, 17except the one that has the power to let you know the difference between right and wrong. If you eat any fruit from that tree, you will die before the day is over!”
3:1The snake was sneakier than any of the other wild animals that the LORD God had made. One day it came to the woman and asked, “Did God tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”
2The woman answered, “God said we could eat fruit from any tree in the garden, 3except the one in the middle. He told us not to eat fruit from that tree or even to touch it. If we do, we will die.”
4“No, you won’t!” the snake replied. 5“God understands what will happen on the day you eat fruit from that tree. You will see what you have done, and you will know the difference between right and wrong, just as God does.”
6The woman stared at the fruit. It looked beautiful and tasty. She wanted the wisdom that it would give her, and she ate some of the fruit. Her husband was there with her, so she gave some to him, and he ate it too. 7Right away they saw what they had done, and they realized they were naked. Then they sewed fig leaves together to make something to cover themselves.
PSALMODY: Psalm 32
1Our God, you bless everyone
whose sins you forgive and wipe away.
2You bless them by saying,
“You told me your sins, without trying to hide them,
and now I forgive you.”
3Before I confessed my sins, my bones felt limp,
and I groaned all day long.
4Night and day your hand weighed heavily on me,
and my strength was gone as in the summer heat.
5So I confessed my sins and told them all to you.
I said, “I’ll tell the LORD each one of my sins.”
Then you forgave me and took away my guilt.
6We worship you, LORD, and we should always pray
whenever we find out that we have sinned.
Then we won’t be swept away by a raging flood.
7You are my hiding place! You protect me from trouble,
and you put songs in my heart
because you have saved me.
8You said to me, “I will point out the road
that you should follow.
I will be your teacher and watch over you.
9Don’t be stupid like horses and mules
that must be led with ropes to make them obey.”
10All kinds of troubles will strike the wicked,
but your kindness shields those who trust you, LORD.
11And so your good people should celebrate and shout.
SECOND READING: Romans 5:12-19
12Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die. 13Sin was in the world before the Law came. But no record of sin was kept, because there was no Law. 14Yet death still had power over all who lived from the time of Adam to the time of Moses. This happened, though not everyone disobeyed a direct command from God, as Adam did.
In some ways Adam is like Christ who came later. 15But the gift that God was kind enough to give was very different from Adam’s sin. That one sin brought death to many others. Yet in an even greater way, Jesus Christ alone brought God’s gift of kindness to many people.
16There is a lot of difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gift. That one sin led to punishment. But God’s gift made it possible for us to be acceptable to him, even though we have sinned many times. 17Death ruled like a king because Adam had sinned. But that cannot compare with what Jesus Christ has done. God has been so kind to us, and he has accepted us because of Jesus. And so we will live and rule like kings.
18Everyone was going to be punished because Adam sinned. But because of the good thing that Christ has done, God accepts us and gives us the gift of life. 19Adam disobeyed God and caused many others to be sinners. But Jesus obeyed him and will make many people acceptable to God.
GOSPEL: Matthew 4:1-11
The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. 2After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. 3Then the devil came to him and said, “If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to turn into bread.”
4Jesus answered, “The Scriptures say:
‘No one can live only on food.
People need every word that God has spoken.’ ”
5Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. 6The devil said, “If you are God’s Son, jump off. The Scriptures say:
‘God will give his angels orders about you.
They will catch you in their arms,
and you won’t hurt your feet on the stones.’ ”
7Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Don’t try to test the Lord your God!’ ”
8Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. 9The devil said to him, “I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me.”
10Jesus answered, “Go away Satan! The Scriptures say:
‘Worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.’ ”
11Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him.