First Sunday of Lent Feb. 17

Good morning all!

Today’s scripture: Luke 4:1-13 (NRSV)

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” 4 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’” 5 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” 9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ 11 and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” 12 Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Today we kick off our new theme at the church to accompany our Lenten journey. Today at the CoOp, they will talk about temptations of the church. Now when I announced this in our Wednesday night service called Bread and Wine (we look at the upcoming theme) there was an audible “hmmmm…interesting.” We often don’t claim that the church gets tempted as well. Most of us know we have our own temptations in life…we might have even given one up for lent…but the church?

In the scripture above, Jesus is tempted by the devil (and you know that historically the devil doesn’t send people to fiery pits but is the prosecutor of the bible if you will…he gives people options that are less than God.). These aren’t crazy temptations even…food to feed hunger for example. But Jesus knows that that bread is temporary and by taking the temptation he is settling for less than what is of God.

The church and we have some of the same struggles ahead. The church is tempted to do what is hip for the temporary glory..less than God. Or perhaps we are tempted to be too quick to discern where we need to be…less than what is of God. Or perhaps our personal struggle is to be too tempted for quick answers…easy bread. So this season, on Sunday mornings, we are exploring what we are tempted by….we all have the temptations. We all have our spots…let’s journey together and come out of the wilderness with stronger ministry.

Where is your wilderness and where is God in it with you?

Prayer: o God, you are with us in the midst of temptation and struggle. When we don’t feel you anticipate our weakness. When we don’t hear you, step in with a whisper. And when we don’t see you, remind us somehow again of your love. Amen.

Side note: it is pretty darn sunny here in Colorado….wish you were here. In the meantime, enjoy Sunday!

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