Read Luke 4:1-13

from Victor Hunter, New Martinsville First Christian Church

Fresh from the waters of baptism, Jesus is led by the spirit to be tempted by the devil. Do you hear the tension in that simple phrase? Do you not know it in the gut of your own experience? The battle is enjoined for Jesus. The tension is present. The choice is real. In the wilderness and at the beginning, Jesus is choosing his selfhood and his God. He answers the lures to a life and messiahship based on instant gratification, the desire for power and control, and the lust for wealth, admiration and spectacle, with three words: “It is written.” The Incarnate Word breathes out the written word and the holy story in the wilderness experience.

Lent is a time each year when we focus on that tension in our own lives: being led by the spirit and tempted by the devil. We choose our selfhood and our God. We do this personally. We do this as a church. It will decide who we are. It is based on which story we confess. “It is written.” The biblical story culminating in the gospel story collides with and challenges the stories of self-interest, wealth, power, greed and control. And the limits of our story will determine the limits of our life. We cannot expect more from life than our basic story will allow. “It is written.”

Re-shape my story in this season, O God, that it may reflect your faith being formed anew within me.