Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas—March 2, 2017
Pancakes have been eaten, ashes have been distributed: Lent has begun. For many the decisions about what to ‘give up’ or what to ‘take on’ have been made, and the journey is fully under way. Temptation to break those decisions may still seem to be far away, but the readings for this coming Sunday take us right to the heart of temptation. “You will not die,” says the serpent as he tempts the woman into taking the forbidden fruit in the garden. No, they did not die in that instant, but the tasting of that fruit became their undoing, none the less.
In the gospel, the tempter comes three times to Jesus as he is in the wilderness, and each time Jesus is able to withstand those temptations. Finally, frustrated, the devil leaves him, and angels come to care for him.
Two extremes, indeed. Good reminders for us as we face the many temptations in our own lives, and in our own journeys to follow Jesus. We make choices every day about what we will do, how we will act, who we will follow. Sometimes we choose well – other times, not so well. The God who created us loves us, and welcomes our return, no matter how strong those temptations may be.
Let us pray: Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Peace and blessing, Carol+