Tanakh: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
The Becoming God took the human and placed them in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it. Then the Becoming God commanded the human, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you are free to eat; but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die.” Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild beasts that the Becoming God had made. The serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say: You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?” The woman replied to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the other trees of the garden. It is only about fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said: ‘You shall not eat of it or touch it, lest you die.’” And the serpent said to the woman, “You are not going to die, but God knows that as soon as you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like divine beings who know good and bad.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for eating and a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable as a source of wisdom, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave some to her husband, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they perceived that they were naked and they sewed together fig leaves and made themselves loincloths.
How big would the garden of Eden need to be to support two humans today?
What are your favorite dangerous plants?
What gets omitted in this pericope?
How does this text speak to human biases in picking and translating texts?
Can serpents talk or reason?
How is good and bad decided?
What is wrong with being naked?
How are fig leaves sewn together?
Rev. Emily E. Ewing queeries the Gospel reading.
Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards was famished. 3The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Child of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4But Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5Then the devil took Jesus to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6saying to him, “If you are the Child of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘God will command Their angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”
7Jesus said to the tempter, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Becoming One your God to the test.’”
8Again, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9and the devil said to Jesus, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
10Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Becoming One your God, and serve only Them.’” 11Then the devil left Jesus, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
Queeries for the text:
Why would the Spirit lead to temptation?
What comes from the mouth of God?
What is visible from the pinnacle today?
What would you trade for food?
What would you trade for proof?
What would you trade for power?
What are your queeries?