Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lent Blog Extra: 1st Sunday in Lent

Just realised that giving up facebook for Lent isn't quite so straightforward - I still get a shower of emails about comments on my wall, or (more useful) the comments placed on facebook for blog posts that feed through as notes. I think I'll leave it like that, otherwise I'll have to log in and change the settings, and then I'll be caught.

It was good to be back on duty in church today, although I fear I wasn't quite as 'on the ball' as I would like to be. Today's reading from the gospels was, of course, Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. It's interesting that I hear the word 'tempted' used more often in sentences like "I'm tempted to buy one" or "that's a tempting bargain" rather than in a moral sense (although unfettered consumerism is a moral issue!). But for Jesus it was a moral and spiritual struggle that challenged his very identity.

The whole episode is defined by the opening challenge to that identity: "If you are the Son of God..." (Luke 4:3, Matthew 4:3) Maybe that's true of us too - the temptations that can really damage us are the ones that have the power to take us away from who we truly are. You only have to think of those who have suddenly found themselves very wealthy or famous, or think back to the idealistic days of the early part of most politicians' careers and then compare that to when the system has assimilated them.

Who are you, and can you keep your integrity? Modern questions from an ancient text.

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