Daily reading: 9 March
Then the eyes of both were opened, then they knew they were naked.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
- Full reading - Genesis 3:1–7.
Today's reading catches some of the elements of all those temptations or 'trials', with which we all struggle: the elegant reasoning of the 'serpent', which sounds good, but which we know is aimed at leading us off-course; the woman's slight readjustment of what God had actually said to the man (see Genesis 2:17); the constant struggle of humanity to 'be like God' (something that we already are, if only we knew it); our ability to rationalise our desires; and, finally, the catastrophic discovery 'that they were naked'.
Not all knowledge is liberating, it seems. The knowledge that really matters is that which brings us closer to who we really are.
Take a fresh look at some of the areas of your life with which you find yourself uncomfortable. Is there something in the way you live out your 'God-likeness' that you know to be wrong, and for which you find yourself tempted to find not very convincing reasons? And what can you do about it, during Lent?
God of justice,
on the journey towards Easter,
we ask you to travel with us,
and to help us to lay down the unnecessary burdens
that we impose upon ourselves.
We ask you to show us what these burdens are,
to shine your light on the weak reasons
that we find for clinging onto them,
and to liberate us from their oppression,
that we may walk more closely with you from today,
and for the rest of our lives.
Today's contributor is Nicholas King, a Jesuit priest, scholar and author who teaches the New Testament at Oxford University.
Published on 09 March 2018