Sunday, March 10, 2019

First Sunday in Lent

First Sunday in Lent – March 10, 2019 – Psalm 4:8

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;  for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

The antiphon for Psalm 4 is v. 7, “You have filled my heart with greater joy than when the grain and new wine abound.” The hard work put into spring planning and summer growth pays off in the fall at harvest. Who isn’t overjoyed at a bumper crop? Yet the Psalmist reminds us greater joy is found is in knowing the Lord who has filled the heart. In Biblical language the heart is the center of the human spirit, from which spring emotions, thought, motivations, courage and action, -“the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Temptation is a testing of faith. Traditionally, the first Sunday in Lent deals with Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness. See Mark 1:9-15. The beginning of Jesus’ ministry is an integral part of the baptism and temptation, for it naturally follows both. In his baptism, Jesus was called to his Messiahship. In the temptation he decided how to carry out his mission. The death of John the Baptist gives the immediate occasion for the beginning of his ministry. Mark does not tell us what the temptations were. They are symbolized by the “wild beasts” and the “wilderness.” Though Mark does not say Jesus was victorious, it can be assumed that he was because the angels continually ministered to him throughout the forty-day period. 

After our Lord’s Baptism the Spirit led Him into the desert to suffer temptation at the hands of the devil He endured the same temptations as were presented to Adam and Eve in the Garden – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, as the holy Evangelist John names them (1 John 2:16) Unlike our first parents (and us), however, He does not give into temptation, but resists the devil with the words of Holy Scripture.

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as You know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find You mighty to save; through Jesus Christ Your Son my Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. [1]

 1. Collect for First Sunday in Lent,

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