Grace PrayerLord, we long for a deeper understanding and knowing of You, Your life and sacrifice. Please prepare us
Becoming Fully PresentPray the following prayer a few times, slowly: Jesus, like a mother you gather your people to you; you are gentle with us as a mother with her children. Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness; through your gentleness we find comfort in fear. Your warmth gives life to the dead, your touch makes sinners righteous. Lord Jesus, in your mercy heal us; in your love and tenderness remake us.
Read: Matthew 4:1-11
Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.” Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
For the second test the Devil took him to the Holy City. He sat him on top of the Temple and said, “Since you are God’s Son, jump.” The Devil goaded him by quoting Psalm 91: “He has placed you in the care of angels. They will catch you so that you won’t so much as stub your toe on a stone.”
Jesus countered with another citation from Deuteronomy: “Don’t you dare test the Lord your God.” For the third test, the Devil took him to the peak of a huge mountain. He gestured expansively, pointing out all the earth’s kingdoms, how glorious they all were. Then he said, “They’re yours—lock, stock, and barrel. Just go down on your knees and worship me, and they’re yours.”
Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.” The Test was over. The Devil left. And in his place, angels! Angels came and took care of Jesus’ needs.
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday, Easter weekend. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring.” The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation and preparing to begin his ministry. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others. Lent helps us to prepare our hearts for the fullness of the meaning of Easter.
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