Feb 17:  First Sunday in Lent                                                Read Luke 4:1-13

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, 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.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.'”

Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 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. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'”

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, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”

When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

 

from W. Darwin Collins, Christian Church Foundation  

            Let’s be honest:  We may not be as strong in our relationship to God as Jesus, but, like him, we all do face our wilderness. Those dry and depressing days when our spiritual tanks are running low, opening us to the temptations of our own demons.

Our text ends with the words “opportune time.”  What made this wilderness experience seem opportune? Evidently it was that Jesus was in a barren place and had been in a time of physical denial. Isn’t this what the season of Lent is about?

Does practicing Lent open us to temptations? It certainly can. So we must not just practice denial in Lent, but also taking on strengthening our spiritual defenses by becoming more like Jesus in being “full of the Holy Spirit.”  We can do this through Bible study, worship and prayer.

God be with us in our wilderness

as we seek to spend more time with you.

 

Prayerscapes for Lent is presented by the Order of Ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in West Virginia.  ©2013.  All rights reserved.  Duplication and distribution for profit is not permitted.

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