We conclude a summer series that explores the biblical origins of phrases that are evocative to this day in our English language and literature – I think my favourites were ‘eat, drink and be merry’ (for obvious reasons) and ‘the writing’s on the wall’.

This morning we turn beyond John Steinbeck to the phrase ‘east of eden’. According to Genesis 3:24, this is the area that into which Adam and Eve were sent. The phrase was applied most directly in the next-generation story of Cain, who ‘went out from the Lord’s presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden’ (Genesis 4:16).  The interesting dimension for us this weekend is the role of labour within and without Eden. (Here is a scene from the York Psalter c. 1170 of Eve spinning and Adam delving/digging, from the collections of Cambridge University.


Our reflections on labour will lead into Holy Communion, as we celebrate the great work of God in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And we shall leave singing ‘Sent forth by your blessing, our true faith confessing, your people, O God, from your table take leave … Your grace shall incite us, your love shall unite us to work for your kingdom, your purpose to find.’

If you are in the area, please join us in the worship of God. If you are driving, Clergy Street to the east of St. Andrews ‘s closed, so parking can be found on either side of the church, and particularly in the public lot just behind the church off Queen (free on Sundays). A nursery is available for infants and children up to the age of three during the service – our Church School resumes next Sunday. A joyous long weekend to one and all!

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