Thoughts on Lent 1
The first words the Lord speaks to the newly created man is:
Here the Lord establishes the church before all other estates. Here, He gives the first sermon. Here, He erects the first temple, pulpit, and altar. Here, He establishes the first act of worship of man: to fast. By fasting from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Adam and Eve, and all their descendants would worship the Lord, would glorify His name, and praise His wondrous deeds.
This is how Luther speaks of it in his Lectures on Genesis:
We know the end of this account. A false prophet arose in the garden. A voice cried out with a different sermon. The serpent preached that they would not die because God knew that when they ate they would be as God Himself. Indeed, they would be gods unto themselves.
Is it any surprise then, that our Lord, after His baptism in the Jordan, is called into the wilderness to enact this same worship? He fasted, and while he was fasting, a voice in the wilderness cried out, “If you are really the Son of God . . . .” The temptation for Adam and Eve was to reject their calling as creatures and become as gods to themselves. The temptation for Christ was to reject His calling as the Son of God, submitting to the Father’s will, and take matters into His own hands. But our Lord does not bite the bait. He keeps the fast that Adam failed to keep. And this, He did, to deliver us. As we pray in the great litany: