The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” (Mt 4)
Last Sunday, we stood on the mountain of transfiguration with Jesus, fully seeing his glory, but also looking down at the valley below, knowing that the Lenten journey through the wilderness was upon us. Wednesday, we gathered as a community and listened to Rev. Cinda Isler's challenge to count the cost of following Jesus and pick up our cross.
This week, we acknowledged together our temptation to turn back from this difficult journey, to put our crosses down, to seek the easy way, or to skip ahead. Jesus was tempted by all these things. He was tempted to skip the fast, to assume power by Satan's way instead of his Heavenly Father's way, to test God's ability or willingness to save him from death.
In her sermon this week, Rev. Dr. Tina Hosler reminds us that it is not sinful to be tempted. In fact, if there aren't any adversaries standing in our way, it may be because we're not going anywhere!
Resisting the temptation, holding true to our calling is difficult. Look back to our first parents, Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. They barely gave the temptation a second thought before they gave into it! We're more like them than we're willing to admit.
Jesus, who sympathizes with our weakness, who knows our struggle, firmly and decisively combats the tempter with the word of God: one does not live by bread alone, do not put God to the test, and worship only God. Rely on Jesus to answer the temptations you encounter this week. We may not be able to survive the wilderness alone with the devil, but Jesus is with us!
Listen to this week's sermon or forward this email to share it with a friend! You can also view the archived live worship stream on our Facebook Page.
What is the wilderness of Lent preparing you for? What are you afraid of? What are you tempted by? How can you stay the course, following Jesus?