I meet with a men’s gospel reflection group every Friday at 7:30. Besides the wonderful fellowship, they offer keen, in the world, insights into the coming Sunday’s scripture readings. For the next several weeks, I’ll offer their insights as possible reflection points during this Lenten season. The thoughts will sometimes be random, simple snippets drawn from the Woedcas it intersects with the human experiences of the men in the reflection group.
The first thing you have to notice about the Gospel reading for the First Sunday of Lent is “The audacity of the devil.” I mean, here’s Jesus Christ! And Satan STILL comes after the second person of the trinity, and thinks that he has a chance, that he might even succeed.
•Quotes Scripture, and Jesus is scripture to fight him. Having a few Scripture quotes memorized place spiritual arrows in your quiver. Brothers and sisters: what does Scripture say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
•Tells blatant lies (The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and their glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish.”) NOT true and we need to call out the devil, and others, who are not speaking the truth and pointing to those who are speaking the truth.
The struggle of Lent, temptation and the consciousness of fighting with yourself—even in the midst of the struggle, you’re focusing on Christ. So the battle is in some respects, already won. Not so much “giving up” something but doing something (or NOT doing something) out of love for the other person.
Luke 11:21-22 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil.
Matthew 12:29 How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. In the “Litany of Humility,” we pray, “Lord Jesus FREE ME.” I can’t do this alone, I need The Lord. Without you, Lord, the yoke is too heavy to carry.
And remember, it’s not about you; it’s about Christ, a transformational time walking WITH CHRIST, being in the wilderness WITH CHRIST, being simply in the world WITH CHRIST. He send them away two by two, we are never to be alone. WE, (not just I) are going to do this together.