March 3

This past Sunday we followed Jesus into the desert for his 40 days of desert temptation.  While there, however, I invited us to focus on what tempts us.  Personally, I visit Facebook daily and discover many helpful things–who is celebrating, grieving, hospitalized, traveling, etc.  It can be a great place to connect, encourage and pray for one another.  But, I often face the temptation to chime in where there are Facebook feuds. Most of the time I resist for many reasons–including the sense than minds aren’t changed much during Facebook feuds.  In fact, I think I am seeing a deepening entrenched divisiveness that saddens me–then I feel tempted to be cynical.  
 
I don’t know where you are feeling temptations to be less than your best self lately.  I do know we all face such temptations.  Jesus did, too.  One of Jesus’ responses to temptation was, “Go away, Satan, because it’s written, ‘you will worship the Lord your God and serve only him.'”  One way Jesus battled temptation was to remember Scripture.  So, Sunday I offered a suggestion, and am offering it again, for those who weren’t there or didn’t remember the Bible verses.  I invite you to open a Bible and set it somewhere where you will see it every day.  I invite you to open the Bible to I Corinthians 13:4-8.  “Love is patient, love is kind.  … It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking or easily angered. …always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  
 
Whether you go on Facebook or not, we live in a world where there is an increasing amount of anger, rudeness, mistrust and meanness.  God’s Word can be our strength for the journey where we may be tempted to give in to the things that divide us.  I invite us to read I Corinthians 13:4-8 every day of Lent until Easter morning and “receive God’s strength for the journey.”
If you find the practice of having your Bible open to I Corinthians 13 somehow blesses you on any given day, I’d love to hear about it.
Lenten Blessings,
Pastor Roger