February 14, 2016
The First Sunday of Lent.
The good news for the Day
Overwhelmed with the outlook that God had made Him different (the “holy spirit”), Jesus returned from the Jordan and was steered by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be challenged by the opposing outlook (the devil). (Luke 4, 1-2)
Many doubt the existence of the Devil. Too many! The reality thuds against your ears, and hammers on your heart. The devil is not an Exorcist-movie kind of challenger. As C. S. Lewis has so craftily written in The Screwtape Letters, demons of our lives are more subtle, shrewd and deceitful.
How does a devil tempt you? Jesus was tempted to satisfy His needs—change rocks into food; then, next, to broadcast His uniqueness by divine intervention—angels sent to catch His child publicly, and, third, to achieve power over others—accept the bargain—worshiping the spirit of the current age’s to become important in THIS world.
You face challenges—your desert experience, your instinct to leave the way (of the Cross). You are uniquely a Child of God, a creature of a loving Creator. This gift is also your temptation. This grace and conversion tests you to stay humble, to serve and remain a fellow child in God’s family.
You are a child of our Father—do you think first of satisfying the needs of others by the power that is in you? Do you quiet your “lovedness” by making sure people know you are a Christian in what you do day-to-day? And you do not use your status before God to achieve power over others.
The Good News is your constant sharing this humility, courage, and resistance to subtle temptations. You share the non-miraculous Bread of brokenness; you proclaim your faith not by tempting God, but by whom you serve; you serve the family of God, not this world and its lure.