Read Matthew 4.1-11

                Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished.  The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”  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; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'”  Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”  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.”  Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'”  Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

 

From Rev. Dr. William B. Allen, Regional Minister Emeritus

This is the iconic Lenten narrative: forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil.  It is the experience we attempt to reproduce during our Lenten journey each year.

Who will win, God or the devil?

That’s more or less the critical question the church seeks to answer year after year, day after day.  Who’s going to win?  Good or evil?  Love or hate?  Joy or despair?  Greed or compassion?

Do we look out for ourselves?  Make bread from stones?  Jump from tall buildings to test God?  Acquire power and riches, whatever the cost?

Our Lenten journey invites us, requires us, to choose God and God’s ways over the ways of evil and wisdom of the world. We put ourselves in the care of God, as Jesus modeled, and angels minister to us.

Our prayer and our plan is that during Lent we will draw a little closer, and perhaps much closer to our God who loves and cares for us.

 

Help us, O God, to trust in you and in the way of righteousness

walked by the Savior, as we ready ourselves to answer these thornier questions of Lent.

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