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In EPIC our next gathering (February 13) is focusing on Temptation. This topic bugs me. Far too often when Christians talk about temptation, sinning, redemption/forgiveness, I'm left feeling like I've been given a fake answer. Its easy to say - all you have to do to be forgiven is pray - ask God for forgiveness. Pouf. Done, your forgiven. Can it really be that easy? Then others will pipe in with "you have to truly be sorry and take steps to change your ways". What if you don't want to. What if you don't feel like what you're doing is wrong. Is it a sin to tell people what they want to hear? It's a lie.

Maybe I should catch you up on the verses, we're using:

We derived our focus from the lectionary for that particular Sunday and being mindful of the season of Lent and the (secular?) holiday of (St.) Valentine's Day (or as I like to call it - "Red & Pink Don't Clash Day"). The lectionary lists Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7, Psalm 32, Romans 5:12-19, and Matthew 4:1-11

In Genesis we are tempted because we want to “know what’s going on”, to be like God (or be God). Could we say that now a days we’re know-it-alls? We know what’s best/good for us? I tend to think that. I make my decisions without God.

In the Psalm we are reminded how easily we are graced with forgiveness. Just talk to God and sin is erased.

Vicious cycle:
We’re tempted, we fail, we’re forgiven.

It’s my understanding that before the last part, we are forgiven only if we ask for grace and make an effort to change. Can we be forgiven simply from tremendous guilt? A catholic friend once told me that while confessing to a priest, she burst into tears and the priest assured her that all faults were excused, simply from the regret that was imminent in her tears.

Is that all it takes? How gracious is our God? I’m questioning God, this is bad. But, isn’t this what many of the denominations have argued and split about. Does it take good works? What constitutes a sin? Blah, blah, blah. But for me this is at the heart of the mystery. We don’t know.

Romans talks about Adam getting us into an abyss that separates us from God and Jesus restoring our connection (makes me think of the evangelical illustration where there is the grand canyon between man & god). Once again how gracious is this gift?

In Matthew, Jesus is tempted and resists the devil. Are we to use this as our model of resistance? What is the parallel? What event in real life does this compare to? Power, food/sustenance, self-importance.


That's a good parallel. Its a matter of choices. We put Jesus on a pedastal and we forget that he came down and was human and had to deal with the human condition. Then the thought crossed my mind of me talking about struggling with sex at church and my mom being there and ohmigod.

We're still talking it out, but I got so worked up about all of this I had to tell you.

Songs I want to hear at this service:
Stairway to Heaven
Axis: Bold as Love
Learning to Breathe
Innocence Again
Down to the river to pray
Sweet Surrender
Shifting Sand
Full of Grace
All Creatures of Our God and King
Redemption Day
Living is Simple
The Beautiful Letdown
Comtin D'un autre ete-L'apres Midi
This World

ps: ohmigosh why are you here if you can't take a tv running on mute while we read a bible verse, while we have an overhead projection, etc. Basicaly all the reasons I want more stimulus, you want less. Ack! This is part of the point of a second service, please if you don't want this don't go, don't help plan (just stay out of our way says the big horrible selfish hairy monster of postmodernism).

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