CAPC Oakland

News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland

Blogging Towards Sunday, February 26, 2023

Matthew 4:1-11 & Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7

Our theme this Lenten season (from now through Easter) is seeking: honest questions for deeper faith. For many of us, Church has been a place where we’ve at times been discouraged from asking questions. They were seen as divisive, destructive, revelatory of our doubt. But many questions are actually hopeful and curious. Our questions won’t necessarily lead to answers, but they can help us find clarity and a new perspective. Ultimately, we pray that they lead to a new beginning, a restoration, a wider grace – a deeper faith.

Like the characters in our Lenten scriptures, we are also seeking many things: clarity, connection, wonder, justice, balance. We are seeking our calling, the sacred, and how to live as a disciple. Throughout the turbulence of the past few years, many of us are asking big questions about our lives and our faith. This Season of Lent marks the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine – the largest war in Europe since WWII. It also marks three-years since our society shut down in response to the threat of COVID. Our way of life has changed. Asking questions, seeking in this sea-son, is a sort of spiritual formation for life in our new normal as we continually ask ourselves: What am I seeking? What is God seeking?

In the ancient world, snakes were a symbol of trans-formation. Their venom held the possibility of both poison and medicine. Our human story begins in the crux of this same paradox of possibility, as the first humans embark into the fertile field God had pre-pared for them. “God knows that when you eat it, your eyes will be opened,” the serpent says. And while the serpent didn’t lie—indeed, their eyes did open—as it often goes with crafty tricksters, that isn’t the whole story. Because while the humans wouldn’t physically die as they imagined, God also told the truth. A death would happen. It was the death of their innocence.

Jesus responds differently, recognizing the source and limits of his power, rooting himself in his relationship of love with God as a space of trust, hope, and freeing-truth.


• What engaged, enraged, or surprised you in this text?
• Adam and Eve listen to different voices than Jesus. What voices are the loudest in your ears? What voices do you want to silence? What voices would you like to trust more?
• What invitation do you hear the Spirit of God speaking to you – or to us, as a church – to act, speak, be or change through this word of scripture?

About capcoakland

We are a community of faith seeking to live God's will together: that space where the passions of our hearts and the needs of the world meet in our context of Berkeley, Oakland and Piedmont. Our perspective is based from a Christian center, open to the mystery of God's presence in our world. Our core values are celebration, community & prayer. This blog is our avenue for program updates and information.

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This entry was posted on February 23, 2023 by in Blogging Towards Sunday.
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