The Jesse Tree
First Tuesday of Advent: Adam & Eve
A Reading from the Book of Genesis (3:1-15):
“Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, ‘Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?’ The woman answered the serpent: ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat of it or even touch it, lest you die.” But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.’ The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of the fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
“When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. The LORD God then called to the man and asked him, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.’ Then he asked, ‘Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!’ The man replied, ‘The woman who you put here with me — she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.’ The LORD God then asked the woman, ‘Why did you do such a thing?’ The woman answered, ‘The serpent tricked me into it, and so I ate it.’
“Then the LORD God said to the serpent: ‘Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures; on your belly shall you crawl, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”
Lord, God of wisdom and knowledge, you created men and women to share with You the divine life. Having been swayed by the false hope of living in wisdom and knowledge unto ourselves, we abandoned You. Having then realized our error, we hid from You in the vain attempt to escape the consequences of our sin. But, there is no escaping You and Your justice. Even in the midst of justice, though, You offer mercy with the hope of a Redeemer, Who will crush the head of the serpent and of sin and renew our life with You. May we be eager to trust in Your justice and embrace Your mercy. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.