On the first Sunday of Lent each year, we remember why we journey through the wilderness for forty days when we hear about the journey of Jesus – driven by the holy Spirit into the desert – for forty days of prayer and encounter with God. We must first note that temptation should not only be thought of as the desire to break rules, just as sin is so much more than being naughty. When we sin, we fall short of God’s original plan for our lives – which is to know, love, worship and serve him as his image bearers and sharers in the world. At some level, to sin is to fail to truly worship and to miss the mark and settle on something so much less.
To understand the power of what Jesus experienced and overcame in the wilderness, we need to journey back into the wilderness with the people of God as they prepare to enter into the promised land – recounted today in the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 26. Although the Lectionary gives us verses 4-10, to understand this passage more fully, we need to read a little more – chapter 26, verses 1 to 11, which happens to be the reading from the Common Lectionary. I will read and comment today from the TNIV version.
Recorded at St Paul’s, 10am (12’55”)
Sunday, Lent 1C