One day, one day b-sides | 14 february 2016

"Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil." Luke 4:1-2



1. What do you try to avoid about yourself, what do you try to distract yourself from? What do you think might happen if you sit quietly with yourself for awhile, free of distractions?

2. What are some things you do to try to escape from your wilderness? Would you consider trying to be free from one of those habits for Lent?

In the wilderness the journey is towards your true self, and that journey is the most perilous path you can travel.

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Temptation comes in many shapes and sizes, colors and voices. What is tempting to you may not be tempting to me. But all temptations are related. Temptation is always marketed as either an upgrade or an escape. Eat this, it will make you feel better now. Drink this, it will make the pain of the present disappear. Lie about this, it will make you more likely to get promoted. Hoard this, it will make you more likely to be rich. Gossip about him, it will make you less aware of your own sin. Hurt her, she deserves it and needs to fear your power.
And so, the unifying attribute of each temptation is the devil's offer to escape, to quit the quest, to end the suffering, to go home early, before the wilderness is done working on us. Each of the three temptations comes with an assumption that there is an easy way out.

God, in you we live and move and have our being; we humbly pray that you would guide your Holy Spirit to refresh us; give us strength to be ourselves and to stick it out in the wilderness with ourselves, with you. Lend us your courage to look honestly at ourselves and at you. May your eyes, your perspective, be our vision. Free us from resistance to our silence. Make our faith strong, sure that one day, it's not gonna be like this. In the name of Jesus the Christ, Amen.

Created with images by Koshyk - "Royal Botanical Garden" • Unsplash - "river valley mountain" • mypubliclands - "Powderhorn Wilderness"

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