WORSHIP TOGETHER | Sunday 2-26-2023

Feb 20, 2023 | General Presbyter & Stated Clerk, Resources, Worship Together, Worship Together Front Page

Sunday, February 26, 2023

First Sunday in Lent

The Revised Common Lectionary passages for the Lord’s Day are:
– First Reading: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
– Psalm 32
– Second Reading: Romans 5:12-19
– Gospel Reading: Matthew 4:1-11

The liturgical color for the day is: Purple

The temptations follow exactly the temptations of Israel when they were in the wilderness for forty years.  The first temptation is stones to bread.  The second is putting God to the test.  The third is false worship.

You know the story.  When Israel faces those temptations in the wilderness—they do not pass.  They fail.  Their identity is that of God’s people, yet at each ordeal they turn from their identity.

Jesus does not.  Jesus does not deny the identity of his calling.

And we know where his calling takes him.  This will not be an easy road.  The cross is out there.  The temptation is real—it’s internal—it’s lived and lived out.

Would it be easier to just take over the whole world and rule it?  Would it be so far afield for the Lord of all to just make it happen then and there?  To summon up all his power and say, “It’s mine…all of it…all of this is mine, right here and now.”  Would it be easier to do that?

But does he do that?  No.  He goes the way of the cross.  He does not give into the easy way out—he does not give into the real temptation that he faces. 

You see—the crux of the matter is Jesus has been given the script—he has the concept of what it will take to live out his calling.  And he chooses to follow the script.  He chooses the way of God’s call.  This is what happened at the Baptism; he received the script.  The script is to follow God’s way—what that would mean would be revealed to him along the way, but the script was God’s to give not his to write.

Our temptation continues to be the temptation to vary from the script of God’s call upon us.

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

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