Happening Now Blog

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Wednesday Message

In each of the three years of our lectionary cycle, the Gospel reading for the first Sunday of Lent tells the story of Jesus' temptation.  As one might expect, Matthew's is the most decorated. Marks is, of course, the shortest and most impatient. This year we read the story from the Gospel of Luke, a down to business narrative which sets before us three central principles of faithfulness:

One does not live by bread alone.
Worship and serve only the Lord your God
Do not put the Lord your God to the test.

With these three anchors Jesus resisted the lures of fame, fortune and power in order to teach a faith of compassion and care for the least.

One does not live by bread alone. An accumulation of the worlds wealth in possessions and financial security does not bring faith. Have you ever noticed the abundance of storage units that have sprung up in the world over the last twenty or thirty years? At one time I was paying rent on four units in three different states! While this is happening, faith communities are dwindling and failing.

Worship and serve only the Lord your God. I am and have been amazed for years at fierce loyalty and worship sports teams, especially college and professional, enjoy. I served my parish internship in the metro-Denver area and had to be very careful to keep worship short on Sunday's when the Bronco's played. (Of course my teams have been the Twins and the Vikings, which is in itself a bit of a spiritual discipline tending toward humility.) I am also often dismayed correlation between major sports events and the domestic violence, sexual exploitation and crime.

Do not put the Lord your God to the test. Despair comes easily when expectations are not met. I often meditate on the prophet Elijah whose grief over failed expectations led him to pray for his own death. God fed him, nurtured him, guided him to shelter and still he remained lost in despair—contrary to the current rash of Facebook posts on how a little food and a little rest made Elijah able to make good choices. God bluntly told him that his job as a prophet was not yet done and to get back to work (1 Kings 19).

We are tempted nearly every day to gather wealth in whatever form feels best to us; we are lured to put our trust in human efforts which separate us from one another; we expect to find the magic words to make it all good in the way we want it to be. In the season of Lent we are called to turn around so that God alone is at the center of our lives; that our trust is in the one who creates, reclaims and sustains all that exists and that we are called to continue to do God's work in Jesus name.

May this season of Lent be for all of us a time of honest renewal and awareness of the presence of God in our lives.

Along the way,

PD

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Ash Wednesday
March 6th
service at 7:00 pm

All Church Luncheon
Thursday, March 7th
12:00 pm
Elmer's Restaurant
All are invited to attend

Walking the Way of Lent
The Sacred Labyrinth Path
Saturday, March 9
10 - 12 pm
Christ the King Lutheran Church
1135 SW Bull Mountain Road
Tigard, OR 97224

Daylight Saving Time
Sunday, March 10th
Spring forward one hour before bed Saturday night