Thursday, April 18, 2024

Temptation


Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’ Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, “He will command his angels concerning you”, and “On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” ’ Jesus said to him, ‘Again it is written, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” ’ Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” ’ Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. Matthew 4:1-11

We are all tempted, and in some seasons, it seems the temptations are endless and there is much to draw us away from our Creator. We are tempted to give up, let go with our anger and get revenge on all those who are hurting us. My mother often said, "you know you're getting close to God when the devil starts working overtime!" And these days, it seems very true. For all of who are torn by the hurts and violence in this world, for those who are facing one calamity after another, Jesus says to us, "I am with you always to the end of the age." May we all rest in the loving arms of our Savior in all these hard times.

Loving Creator, you know our pain and temptations
your Son died so we might all live fully in your love
you send us angels to lift us up when we are falling
and surround us with those who will pray with us.

We often give up, give in and scream in anger
we often blame you for all of our various troubles
we refuse to seek you in our calm and untroubled days
and come crying to you when we are at our very end.

Help us to be those who are seeking you daily
make us those who hold others up who are sinking
make us your disciples so we can know your strength
and give us an extra measure of your love this day. Amen.