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Genesis 2:15-17 & Matthew 4:1-11
Beyond Separation

Many representations of the Christian faith, give the impression that the purpose of the Christian life is to divide the world up into good and evil, in and out, good guys and bad guys. We seem to be constantly drawn to eat from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” of which God said, “you shall not eat.” This way of approaching life emerges in part from the experience of scarcity which lies at the heart of all temptation. At the root of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness lay the feeling of lack. After fasting forty days in the wilderness, he was “famished.” So, he was tempted to put his physical needs ahead of any others, to use his power to establish a sense of security in the material realm, and to found his identity upon the ability to make an impact in the world. The antidote to scarcity is the recognition that life is characterized by abundance. God said to Adam, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden.”  When we face our sense of lack, we discover, like Jesus, that “angels” come and wait up on us.