First Sunday in Lent
God of mercy, Jesus found a sure defense in your word:
strengthen us to persevere faithfully, as we confront the temptations of life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
READING Genesis 2: 15-17, 3: 1-7
15 Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it.
16 He told him, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, 17 except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day.”
Now the snake was the most cunning animal that the Lord God had made. The snake asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat fruit from any tree in the garden?”
2 “We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden,” the woman answered, 3 “except the tree in the middle of it. God told us not to eat the fruit of that tree or even touch it; if we do, we will die.”
4 The snake replied, “That’s not true; you will not die. 5 God said that because he knows that when you eat it, you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.”
READING Romans 5: 12-19
14 But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, death ruled over all human beings, even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam did when he disobeyed God’s command.
Adam was a figure of the one who was to come.
15 But the two are not the same, because God’s free gift is not like Adam’s sin. It is true that many people died because of the sin of that one man. But God’s grace is much greater, and so is his free gift to so many people through the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.
GOSPEL according to Matthew 17: 1-9
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.
3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple,
6 saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor;
9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'”
11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.
PRAYER for Africa
God, refresh Africa and all the world,
Protect and grow our children.
Convict with justice and truth, all our leaders
And fill all hearts with your peace.
For Jesus Christ sake. Amen.
Go out into the world in the righteousness of Christ.
Do not hide your sin,
but trust in God who gives mercy and love.
Do not be afraid to face the wilderness,
but do not compromise with evil.