I hope and pray that everyone is doing well and healthy. My prayers go out to people of Ethiopia and Ukraine as they are in the midst of war and violence and death.
Today is the 4th day of Lent. It is windy, and my allergies are kicking up. Every spring, I go through a major bout of allergies, but they go away after several weeks. It’s like clockwork. It is reminder to me that nature is consistent just like the sun rising and setting. I wonder what Jesus thought of when he was in the wilderness. Did he feel at peace being in nature and away from the stresses of humanity? Was it a time of reflection and strength gathering for the start of his ministry? I hope we have places that we can re-energize and heal and gather strength.
Meditation: Where do we go to heal and take breaks from society?
Sermon: Life's Tests
Scripture: Luke 4:1-13 The Message Bible
1-2 Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.
3 The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: “Since you’re God’s Son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread.”
4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to really live.”
5-7 For the second test he led him up and spread out all the kingdoms of the earth on display at once. Then the Devil said, “They’re yours in all their splendor to serve your pleasure. I’m in charge of them all and can turn them over to whomever I wish. Worship me and they’re yours, the whole works.”
8 Jesus refused, again backing his refusal with Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”
9-11 For the third test the Devil took him to Jerusalem and put him on top of the Temple. He said, “If you are God’s Son, jump. It’s written, isn’t it, that ‘he has placed you in the care of angels to protect you; they will catch you; you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone’?”
12 “Yes,” said Jesus, “and it’s also written, ‘Don’t you dare tempt the Lord your God.’”
13 That completed the testing. The Devil retreated temporarily, lying in wait for another opportunity.