Sermon for St James Colwall, Lent 1 2017
This is an unfinished script by Chris Sennett, not delivered, but placed here in his memory.
I suppose everyone will know our first reading and will be very familiar with it but most explanations I have heard, seem to me to be lacking, or to miss the point. Perhaps we can all agree that this is not an account of a scrumping raid on the garden of Eden by Eve, but is much more significant. The fruit of the tree gives knowledge of good and evil. Without that we would be just like the animals. With it we can take responsibility for our actions.
This doesn’t necessarily seem like a good thing – may be God thought He would get bored with creatures which were too simple but in any case you can speculate about mythical texts too far. It remains that the real world we live in is complex, but above all, morally complex. In this world, actions are either good or evil and it matters whether we chose one or the other. This is in contrast with other religions which are more concerned with spiritual and physical well being and with control of the physical world. Being a Christian is all about living a moral life.
People of course don’t think of themselves as being particularly good or bad. We all do the best we can and don’t knowingly harm anyone, but for anyone saying this, I would say look at the world around you and if you knew that tomorrow you would be occupying some else’s shoes then I think you would really want to see a huge number of changes. And it is up to us to bring them about.