Where there is sin, there is always grace to guide us through. Think of the creation story with Adam and Eve. God gives them the entire garden except for one tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. I'm sure you've heard the saying 'curiosity killed the cat". Well, we want what we can't have, and so they go against God's one rule, and took and apple. Sin came into the world through the one act of acting upon curiosity, leading to a life of conflict and shame. We can't blame Adam and Eve, everyone has this tendency in them. If you are denied something, you want it all the more right? It's the seeking of wish-fulfillment. So where each of us is guilty of sin, God sends us Jesus to help redeem us, fill us with good graces and love, to help fight our sinful nature.
Today's First Reading states:'Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned -- But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience many will be made righteous. Law came in, to increase the trespass; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord'(Romans 5:12, 15, 17-19, 20-21).
In today's reading we see that by one man's disobedience, we are made sinners, but by one man's obedience, we are made righteous. If Jesus can come to purify our hearts, to set us on the path to God, then should we not be trying to do the same for those around us? Maybe there is a way to use curiosity to help us, and help others, by being there to listen, to act out of love and bring our family and friends when they've been lead astray. Take some time to ask God to make you curious about a life of faith and love, and less about the sinful nature of the world.
Today's prayer comes from 'worship words' a prayer for empathy, vulnerability and curiosity:
We pray for Empathy – seeking to understand:
ideas, people, situations, ourselves, our faith, our hopes,
seeking, exploring the why of life, the why of who we are.
because we know that only by seeking, do we go beyond ourselves, to where answers reside, answers that we had never considered.
And we are enriched, by becoming more whole.
We pray that we would be Vulnerable – open to being influenced
to new ideas, new possibilities.
Lives enriched with new experiences, horizons, things we thought not possible. Surprise us, our God
We know change causes us to be vulnerable;
as we become less capable of adapting, changes seem greater
as our limits become more apparent, our abilities seem in decline
simple things, small changes take on greater magnitude.
Keep ideas, possibilities, dreams, hopes, growing in and around us.
So that change is not an inhibitor, but stimulation into new life.
Cause our attitude to change to be invitational, not to create whirlwind in our lives, but measured growth
Keep us Curious about life, exploring and discovering, growing into understanding, more of the mystery of life as we walk with you author of life, and our guide.
As we seek these things for ourselves, we pray that they become realities for those around us.
Use us as channels of understanding, influence, curiosity, to help others grow. We take our part in your creation more fully when we offer ourselves to others and to you. Use us, we pray.
Place people in our path that will cause us to grow and whom we can help grow. The things we desire, we pray for those whom we find difficult to love, as well as those close to us.
Lord, lead us into wholeness, whatever that may be,
in Jesus name. Amen.