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Archive for December 19th, 2013

“The Temptation of Eve” by Lucas Cranach the Elder

Prayer of the Day

Lord God, heavenly Father, You created Adam in Your image and gave him Eve as his helpmate, and after their fall into sin, You promised them a Savior who would crush the devil’s might. By Your mercy, number us among those who have come out of the great tribulation with the seal of the living God on our foreheads and whose robes have been made white in the blood of the Lamb; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Adam was the first man, made in the image of God and given dominion over all the earth (Genesis 1:26). Eve was the first woman, formed from one of Adam’s ribs to be his companion and helper (Genesis 2:18-24). God placed them in the Garden of Eden to take care of creation as His representatives. But they forsook God’s Word and plunged the world into sin (Genesis 3:1-7). For this disobedience, God drove them from the garden. Eve would suffer pain in childbirth and would chafe at her subjection to Adam; Adam would toil amid thorns and thistles and return to the dust of the ground. Yet God promised that the woman’s Seed would crush the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:8-24). Sin had entered God’s perfect creation and changed it until God would restore it again through Christ. Eve is the mother of the human race, while Adam is representative of all humanity and the fall, as the apostle Paul writes, “For in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). (From the LCMS website)

Reflection: The woodcut above is interesting for this detail: please note the one woman has a serpent’s tail which Cranach is telling us is the devil who has become a woman, but not just any woman. It has become Eve. Eve is being tempted by Eve, her own image. The image of man and woman, created in the image of God is powerful but it was to reflect the Lord’s love and dominion but not him or her self as a self-existing all attractive being. Romans 1:

1 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

The Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year, 2013, went to “selfie”:  a photo you take of  yourself with your camera or phone, with or without others.  The sin from the origin is selfie sin.  Cranach caught the 2013 Word of the Year which was not even in his vocabulary.  We live in a society in thralldom to the self, from “Self” magazine to a talk show host who’s magazine only features her every time to the worshiping the stars.  Selfies seeks only the mirror of the camera’s eye.  The Lord sees us with His eye and it both searches heart and soul from Whom no secrets are hid.  His eye cries over the death of the body and soul (see   John 11:35 ).    As the Christmas states it well: Christ was born for this. Born into a world in which everyone is looking out for #1 in sheer adulation, He came a mewling baby in a feeding trough, the Son of God. He came to be last and least of all, the First became last. The Coming One who brought us the reign of God. Colossians 1:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

There is only one Word of the year, for this year and every year since the beginning of the new creation:  Jesus.

Lord God, heavenly Father, You created Adam in Your image and gave him Eve as his helpmate, and after their fall into sin, You promised them a Savior who would crush the devil’s might. By Your mercy, number us among those who have come out of the great tribulation with the seal of the living God on our foreheads and whose robes have been made white in the blood of the Lamb; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

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