Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, ‘To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, ’
“Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.”
Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written,
“He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’
Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. Luke 4:1-13
Today we travel from China to Japan. The House of Bishops Meeting concluded last night with a big meal and celebration. We have all been changed by our experiences here. The generosity and hospitality has been amazing. Our Night Market tour guides, Michael and Anna came to bid us farewell and to give a gift. They were so kind and helpful. And Lily, who is a priest in this Diocese came today to take me to the fabric mart. We had a great time, laughing together and looking at material. They have instilled us with a new thankfulness and gratitude. When I am tempted in the coming days to be discouraged, I will remember all their kindnesses.
Jesus has a holy time away from everyone and wrestled with temptation. It was real and embodied, taunting him and poking at his human weakness. He must have been hungry, tired and lonely, struggling with the next steps of his ministry. Maybe he was tempted to be selfish or take an easier road. In his temptations, we see ourselves, and know how often we have given in, and ignored God's call and direction. But God is always ready to send us angels, to lift us from the peaks of temptation and loneliness, so that we might, with gratitude, serve others.
Today I ask fro traveling mercies and guardians angels. May we all recognize our times in the desert and lean on God who will see us through. May our eyes be opened to the blessings and kindnesses around us and may we live every day with great gratitude for the love we receive daily from God.