Sunday, February 25, 2007

First Sunday in Lent

Dt 26:4-10
Rm 10:8-13
Lk 4:1-13

Jesus had been baptized, and was about to begin his public ministry. But before he set out preaching he went in to the desert,to prepare. In this period of preparation, Jesus faced temptation. He didn't eat, he was hungry. Satan hands him a stone and asks, why be hungry, just make it bread. Jesus refuses, rebuking Satan. Again Satan offers Jesus all the power and wealth and glory the world can provide. All Jesus has to do is worship him. Jesus rebukes him again, stating only God is to be worshipped. Finally Satan takes Jesus to the top of the Temple and says, jump off, nothing bad will happen to you, angels will save you, there is nothing to fear. Jesus finally chases him away saying one should not put God to the test. We, too are journeying, but our journey is the journey of our life. we face all of the same temptations that are thrown at Jesus. Now I know I can't, and I doubt if you can turn stone to bread. But that never seems to stop us from trying. We live in a culture that begs us to indulge, to over-indulge, to satisfy our every want and whim. Food, better cars, bigger houses, nicer clothes, how much do we need, and how much do we want. Want and need are not the same thing. Do we take what we need , or do we fall prey to the temptation to take what we want? Jesus was offered power and wealth, and we face that as well. We strive to get as much as we can, all the money we can get, all the power and prestige we can acquire, too often without regard for those we may hurt in our quest for more. Now I am not against making money, we need it, but how much is it worth to you? Do we seek money and power at the expense of our family, our friends, ourselves, of God? Do we fall prey to this tempatation, doe we worship the wealth of the world? Jesus was told, jump, nothing bad wioll happen to you. We insure ourselves against the chance of anything bad happening to us, physically. Auto insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance, health insurance. We never really believe that bad things will happen to us, but we're ready just in case. But what about spiritual insurance? Are we so convinced nothing bad can happen to that we fail to insure ourselves spiritually. I doubt many of us think we're perfect, but we're not THAT bad, not really, so why should I concern myself with my relationship with God? Do we fall prey to this temptation? Do we fail to work on our relationship with God? Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit that leads us, if we only allow the Spirit to lead. As we begin our 40 day journey, preparing to celebrate Easter, let us take the time to look at ourselves, honestly. Let the Spirit lead us, help us, inform us, that we may face temptation and make good choices.
Deacon John
First Sunday in Lent
Feb. 25, 2007