March 10, 2019
These forty days called Lent are like no other. It is our opportune time to return to the God who rescues; to receive the gifts of God’s grace; to believe with the heart and confess with the mouth the wonder of God’s love in Jesus; and to resist temptation at every turn. This is no small pilgrimage on which we have just embarked. It is a struggle Jesus knew. It is a struggle Jesus shares. The nearness of the Lord, in bread and wine, water and word, will uphold and sustain us.
On this First Sunday in Lent, we hear the story of Jesus’ temptation in the desert. This story, like every Bible story, is about God before it’s about us. This story tells us the Jesus we call God’s divine son, is fully human. To be truly human, Jesus must have the capacity to be tempted, i.e., allured, beguiled, enticed, influenced, persuaded and yes, seduced. Jesus could not have been some first century Clark Kent, capable of jumping into a phone booth to stop a satanic herd of pigs from goin’ over a cliff.
At our 9:30 A.M., Sunday worship, in prayer, Word, song, sermon and Meal, we make our way in Lent’s space, even though going there often puts us cross-ways with the same world, the same flesh, and the same devil that put Jesus cross-ways, for us, on Calvary. We make our way in Lent’s desert space, pressing toward the promised land, so we, like Jesus, become more certain about our identity, more clear about our own mission under God’s rule, and more confident about how God wants us to join what God never tires of doing, creating, saving, and blessing all God’s children.