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Word One Bible Study: Lent 1 Old Testament

Text: Genesis 3:1-21 for the First Sunday in Lent, Lectionary Series A

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Lent 1 Old Testament.

Participants will:
1.Relate the story of Adam and Eve's fall into sin to their own "fall" experiences.
2.Recall the forgiveness of Jesus Christ for fallen people.

The leader will need three things: M&Ms, small cups and someone to be a "secret helper."

Do not share this information with the group.

As people arrive, give each a cup with exactly 17 M&Ms in it. Tell them they will need the M&Ms later and that they should save them. Have some extra M&Ms out and visible, but don't let anyone restock their supplies. If anyone asks what the M&Ms are for, just say that they will be needed later.

The person who is your secret helper should try to get people to break the M&M rule. While people are arriving, he or she might try to get a contest going to see who can throw an M&M and catch it in their mouth. Or he or she might say things like, "Hey, can I have your yellow ones? I'm sure you won't need them all."

After the reading of Genesis 2:7-9 and 15-17, have everyone show you how many M&Ms they have left. (The will have used ten in the following activity.) Tell them that they started with exactly 17. Anyone who has exactly 7 left should be awarded a full cup of more M&Ms as a prize. In a typical group, some will have saved them and others will have nibbled. Before going on, take time to ask the following questions:

1.Why did you or did you not save the M&Ms as requested?
2.How did __________ (your secret helper) influence your decision to eat or to save your M&Ms?
3.If you ate some M&Ms you weren't supposed to, what would have made you save them as requested?
4.If you followed the directions (and didn't eat any) what would have made you willing to break the rules?
5.How is the activity like what happened to Adam and Eve? How do you think they felt?

When the group has discussed the questions, go on with the second reading from Genesis.

Building Community
Did you ever do or say something that you thought was okay and wouldn't hurt anyone, but later found out you were wrong? (i.e. insulting someone "as a joke," getting a speeding ticket, leaving a term paper until the last minute, etc.)

You will need 10 M&Ms for this activity. Lay them out in front of you. As you eat each of the 10 M&Ms, share one thing you have seen recently that had some kind of cause and effect relationship. If you have M&Ms left over, save them for later.


Getting Into the Scripture
1.Read these sections as "readers' theater." Four people will read the different parts: Narrator, God, the serpent (Satan), and Eve. The others may follow along in their Bibles.
a.Read Genesis 2:7-9, 15-18.
b.Now answer the questions the leader will share with you. (Leader, see the Preparation section.)
c.Read Genesis 3:1-21.
2.Form groups of 5-6. The person with the curliest hair in each group will be the group leader. First, answer the following questions individually. Then discuss your answers as a group.
a.Why do you think Adam and Eve let themselves be tricked by the serpent? (pick two)
i.The serpent seemed like such a nice guy.
ii.They forgot what God really said. (Eve said that God told them not to touch the tree, but God had only said not to eat its fruit.)
iii.Adam and Eve really wanted to break the rules. The serpent just gave them an excuse.
iv.Adam and Eve were curious and had no idea God would follow through with His threat.
v.Adam and Eve felt insecure. They wanted to be as smart as God.
vi.Other: __________________
b.Lies and half-truths. Part of the serpent's trick was to confuse the facts by mixing them up with half-truths. Satan still tried to lead us away from God's will by mixing up truth and lies. What do you think are some of the most dangerous lies facing teenagers today? (Check at least two.)
i.Since school can be boring sometimes, it doesn't matter if you study.
ii.The more sex scenes I see on TV, the less effect they have on me.
iii.Since it's important to have friends, it's okay to drink at a party if everyone else does.
iv.Satan is just a joke--not a real enemy.
v.Since God wants to forgive me, it doesn't matter what I do.
vi.If no one gets pregnant, it doesn't matter what you do on a date.
vii.Since people are starving in Africa, God can't be very loving.
viii.Other: ______________________

Reinforcing What Has Been Learned
Some people don't believe that Adam and Eve really existed. But it's clear that the apostle Paul did. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he explains that, just as the sin of Adam (and Eve) brought death on all people, so the perfect life and death of Jesus Christ brings life. Read Romans5:18-19 and 1 Corinthians 15:22 aloud

Close in prayer.

Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies V, studies on the Old Testament readings for lectionary series A, in 1992.

Republished and revised in March 2014 for thESource

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