Monday, June 16, 2014


Read Matthew 4:1-11.  This is the Temptation of Christ in the Wilderness.

Dr. Elaine Heath was the guest teacher for our Annual Conference this past week.  (And by the way, sorry for being blog-quiet last week.  It was Annual Conference week, and I was moving fast.) She based her first session on the scripture above. I thought her "take" on it was interesting.

She says that as a Church, we are facing the same temptations that Jesus did:

  1. Stones into bread - This was a temptation intended to convince Jesus to use God's power to feed himself instead of others.  As a Church (and as individuals) we are tempted to do that.  How often do we place ourselves first?  How often do we appropriate God's power for selfish motivations?  How often do we try to "attract members" so that our church will survive rather than convincing people to become disciples of Jesus?
  2. Leaping from the Temple - Dr. Heath spoke about the temple as the pinnacle of Jesus' religious tradition as a Jew.  He stood on the top of the most important tradition - the Temple - and was tempted to make it his Foundation by leaping from it.  We as a Church are tempted to do the same thing.  We stand on our traditions as if they are our Foundation, when God should be our Foundation.  We rationalize by saying that by protecting our traditions, we are protecting our faith, but that isn't true.  Our faith comes from God.
  3. Worship the tempter - We will treat others like the God we worship.  If our God is angry and vengeful, then we will treat others that way.  If our God is judgmental and hateful, then we will be the same.  We will attempt to use God's power to manipulate others.  When we come to realize the true nature of God - loving and grace-filled, then we will treat others like that.
We get to choose.  Will we be tempted?  Or will we stand with God?  When the Church stands with God, angels will tend to us, and God's work will be done.

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