Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Sunday of Lent

Deuteronomy 26: 4-10, Psalm 91, Romans 10: 8-13, Luke 4: 1-13

Satan offered Jesus a gift, but Jesus didn't take it. We all are tempted with gifts, which we open, consume, own and disown, and throw away.

The devil tempted Jesus for forty days, and Jesus had the courage, the insight, and the faith to refuse and rebuke him. We use and abuse our gifts without courage, insight or faith. We refuse nothing we can turn to refuse.

The devil offered power and glory and food. We accept gifts that promise power, offer glory and feed us through every appetite. We know not no.

Satan stood by Jesus in the wilderness and brought him to Jerusalem, offering, tempting, mocking, daring. Jesus stood atop the temple and did not step into Satan's trap. We rely not on the angels of our better nature but willingly trap ourselves with every temptation but love, which is selfless. We are collections of self. We are selves and elfish elves.

The devil ended his tempting game, gave up and went away, learning utter futility. We did not hear Jesus when he put away all elves and told the biggest: "Get behind me, Satan." Jesus uttered a true answer.

We don't even see the question. We are all answers. We just are, for the moment.

He is. He is there for all of us, always.

Bob Gibson

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