“Beware of false prophets, who will come to you all in sheep’s clothing but inside are rapacious wolves. By their fruits you will know them.”
Imperfect foods. Ugly produce. Or Strange fruits. Wilda Gafney, the womanist scholar and crafter of Year W, an alternate lectionary we are using for the seasons of Lent and Easter keeps us in the second creation story (Genesis 2) for this second Sunday in Lent. If you didn’t read about Year W last week, you can find an explanatory article here.
Gafney pairs the serpent and the fruit of this garden varietal with a warning in Matthew of the fruits of false prophets. The serpent, according to Gafney’s translation, “had more naked intelligence than any other animal…God had made,” but craftiness is not enough, is it? All sorts of people are shrewd. God has crafted us for good works, according to Ephesians 2, but even this is no guarantee for a healthy, fruitful harvest of a life.
There is tending to be done, and weeding in the garden of our souls. Lent is a season to examine the stories we are told. False prophets abound. Rapacious, ravenous hungers lead to tragic suffering, dislocation, and violence with a long shadow. Surely we are witnessing these fruits in these days! But in truth, self-examination is the real staple of Lent. What are the stories we tell of ourselves? Are they reliable, good for eating, nutritious? What kinds of fruit will they produce when we are old and in the ages to come?
Enter into worship.
Readings: Genesis 3:1–7 † Psalm 92:1–5, 12–15 † Ephesians 2:4–10 † Matthew 7:15–20
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