While we don’t face temptations exactly like Jesus faces here, we are tempted nonetheless. For some of us a few days into our Lenten fasts we’ve broken them. We may be tempted to fully count ourselves failures or tempted to just shrug it off as not having mattered anyway. While the lectionary fails spectacularly at showing Jesus being tempted in every way that we were, it nonetheless shows that Jesus faced temptations. The mundane, real-life, day-to-day temptations that we give in to or resist, Jesus faced too.
If our lives are not transformed by meeting Jesus the Christ by encountering the true and living God the encounter is for naught. In seeing Jesus’ transfigured body in holding him in our hands as Bread God admonishes us to listen to Jesus. Mountain top experiences going to thin places are for the good of the world not just the good of our feelings.
O God, we pray for the entire Body of Christ and its leaders throughout the world. We pray especially for our Bishop Provisional, Melissa; and our priest, Joseph; as well as lay people who minister in your name. In our Diocese, we pray for St. James, Kent; and St. George, Maple Valley. In the Anglican
Almighty God, we pray for your church and all who serve you including Michael our Presiding Bishop; Melissa our Bishop Provisional; and Joseph our vicar. We pray for your servants everywhere, especially for the bishop’s committee and volunteers at St. Hilda St. Patrick. In the Anglican Cycle of prayer, we lift up the Episcopal Church
In these directions Jesus uses what would have been a familiar rabbinical rhetorical device where the second statement seeks to deepen, intensify and radicalize the first. Jesus has made clear that he has not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. The Law has been a gift from God. What Jesus pulls those committed to following him toward is that keeping the mere letter of the law is not enough. Love itself must be the true guide.
Almighty God, we raise our voices to you like trumpets. We pray for your holy church, that it may shine as a light to the world, and a city on a hill. We pray for the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Melissa and Brian, our bishops, St. Matthew’s / San
From the smokiest Anglo-Catholic parish to the plainest puritan one with clear glass only it doesn’t matter how pretty, severe, or stark our worship is if we’re not sharing our bread with the hungry, bringing the homeless poor into our houses; and covering the naked it doesn’t matter. If we’re avoiding eye contact or staying in a bubble, choosing not to learn about systemic racism or housing policy or mass incarceration so that we can loose the bonds of injustice, undo the thongs of the yoke, let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.