Temptation, Again

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Lent has begun and we’re all left wondering where those “extra” weeks of Epiphany went to (Epiphany was 4 weeks longer this year than last year). Since my wife and I moved from an apartment to a house last week, I’m feeling the appropriate sense of journeying through the chaotic, wild, untamed places as we begin this season. Since I am on sensory overload, I’m sharing with you a poem appropriate for the day. It is from my book, Barefoot Theologypage 153-154. If you are looking for sermon help, you might want to try here.

Temptation

The Tempter showed up in the wilderness
hoping Jesus would forsake his God
     to eat and be satisfied
     to prove his power beyond argument
     to receive the world without effort
Jesus turned down all offers even after days of fasting
He knew what he would lose—
     himself and his God
          the relationship would be destroyed
          and the world would lose all hope

Consequently we can be reminded that Jesus
withstood the pain of facing the Tempter
He is acquainted with how seductive
     appetites can be
          avenues of escape
          promises of satiation
          false idols of fulfillment
He knows the enticement
     of great power
          illusions of control
          appearances of respect
          a mirage of being more worthy than others
He recognizes the dazzle
     of tremendous wealth
          a life of endless possibilities
          a way to fulfill every desire
          an implausible way to widen the needle’s eye

The next time the Tempter pays a visit
talk to the Christ who has resisted
and can show us how to turn away
from all that would cost
more than we can afford to pay

Let us not forget that when the Tempter wins
Christ stands with the tormented soul
watching, waiting for a moment
to step in and open the door
to wholeness, forgiveness, and grace

RCL – Year A – First Sunday of Lent – March 5, 2017
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
Psalm 32
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11

Photo: CC0 image by Denis Doukhan

 

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