The LORD God formed man out of the
clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath
of life, and so man became a living being.
Then the LORD God planted a garden in
Eden, in the east, and placed
there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the
LORD God made various trees grow that were delightful to
look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the
middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of
good and evil.
Now the serpent was the most cunning
of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The
serpent asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to
eat from any of the trees in the garden?” The woman
answered the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the
trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the
tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You
shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’” But
the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not
die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who
know what is good and what is evil.” The woman saw that
the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and
desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its
fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband,
who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of
both of them were opened, and they realized that they
were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and
made loincloths for themselves.
R. (cf. 3a) Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the
greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse
me. R, Be merciful, O Lord, for
we have sinned. For I acknowledge my offense,
and my sin is before me always: “Against you only have I
sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” R, Be merciful, O Lord, for we have
sinned. A clean heart create for me, O God, and
a steadfast spirit renew within me. Cast me not out from
your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. R, Be merciful, O Lord, for we have
sinned. Give me back the joy of your salvation,
and a willing spirit sustain in me. O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. R, Be merciful, O Lord, for we have
Brothers and sisters: Through one
man sin entered the world, and through sin, death,
and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.
For if, by the transgression of the
one, death came to reign through that one, how much
more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of
the gift of justification come to reign in life through
the one Jesus Christ. In conclusion, just as through one
transgression condemnation came upon all, so,
through one righteous act, acquittal and life came to
all. For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners, so, through the obedience of
the one, the many will be made righteous.
At that time Jesus was led by the
Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He
fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he
was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him,
“If you are the Son of God, command that these stones
become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is
does not live on bread alone, but on every word
that comes forth from the mouth of
Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him
stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If
you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is
written: He will
command his angels concerning you and with their
hands they will support you, lest you dash your
foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him,
“Again it is written, You shall not put
the Lord, your God, to the test.” Then the devil
took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all
the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he
said to him, "All these I shall give to you, if you will
prostrate yourself and worship me.” At this, Jesus said
to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: The Lord, your God,
shall you worship and him alone shall
Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.
Many people have asked me “What exactly is this Lent thing
and why do some faith expressions take it so seriously?”
That’s a very good question. I hope I can answer it so that
it will make more sense to you. First of, Lent is not a
thing, not a movement, not a practice, not a process, and
not limited to only certain faiths. Lent is the story of
Jesus and us, the story of the beginning of his ministry
until his death on the cross and his glorious resurrection,
and we are invited to go that journey with him. So really
then, Lent is an invitation to get to know our Lord and
Savior intimately. To walk with him the journey of our
salvation as he had to do it for our sake, for our
sinfulness, and most particular to restore for us, the gift
of eternal life that was nullified by the sin of Adam and
When we have dared to walk with our sweet Jesus as was his
journey and have lived even a bit of it, then our own faith
will grow in leaps and bounds. This is a time that we come
to deny ourselves, to repent, to get beyond all that holds
us down, and to fully understand that, indeed, as Jesus says
himself, “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of
God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel,” and
immerse ourselves into his mission, for our sake, not his.
So, I invite you to come with me by accepting the
invitation. Starting this week and all the weeks to
come until long after Easter, the scripture readings that I
will share, will allow us all to follow that invitation.
If you are a non-believer and would like to know Jesus more,
this is the time for you to start, to come to know.
Lovingly, you are invited to journey with us. Let us
start with the
readings for this week.
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the desert,
and he remained in the desert for forty days,
tempted by Satan.
He was among wild beasts,
and the angels ministered to him.
After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
"This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel."
Jesus must have sat down often to
consider the state of the nation.He must have worried often about the leadership he
saw around him.
He must have talked often about the temple and its services.He must have done all that very often, since he was
like us in all things but sin.
Doing this, we compare the world in
which we live with the vision of a world to come.Speaking about injustice, we know about justice.Complaining about dishonesty, we imply honesty.Worrying bout the wars throughout the
Middle East, terrorists and violence throughout
the world, we perhaps dream about peace.Protesting discrimination and violence, we suggest a
more livable world.We do all of this, do we not?We are charged with a vision; we are all full of
sometimes, we don’t move.We see as if blind.We hear as if deaf.We move as if paralyzed.
So did Jesus, up to the moment he
entered that desert for those forty long, very long, days.Full of Spirit, he was challenging his spirit.Full of vision, he was facing his blindness.His ears ringing with the message, he was fighting
Asked to move, he had to overcome his lameness.Matthew says he was tempted, nagged, pestered,
shocked, and shaken, fighting with all that held him back,
struggling with everything that kept him small restricted,
paralyzed, and fruitless, fighting the devil himself, that
tempter, Satan, yet not succumbing to that evil pest, but
overcoming all his evil endeavors.
He was going to ask us to do the
going to invite us to follow him.He was going to show us what we would be able to do.But, before turning to us, before inviting others, he
first fought and overcame the indolence and immobility he
wants us to overcome.
The world has changed over the past
sixteen years; our country has drastically changed over the
past several years, and the vast majority of folks are not
so pleased with those changes my friends.Who would have ever thought that the issues facing
our country these days would be about defunding Planned
Parenthood, who advocates with pride, the taking of another
human life, through abortion, which is murder?Which is a slap in the face to God our creator, the
only author of human life, and to do that vicious act on
demand, and be boasting about it.Why wouldn't God not be angry?
Who would have ever thought that one
of the most controversial issues of the day would be about
We should know very well what happened in the old testament
when that was an issue.Who would have ever thought that a government would
become so morally decayed that it would turn the table
around as to what was right and wrong;that what use to be wrong is not right, and what use
to be right in now wrong?With the change of leadership in the Whit House,
perhaps, there is some hope.
We can no longer just complain about
others, forgetting about ourselves.We can no longer think that the world will change and
our vision will be fulfilled without ourselves being changed
That is what Jesus learned in the
desert, and that is why he came out of it – himself changed
– to shout to us:“The time is ripe, the days are fulfilled.I overcame what holds you down.I could do it, you can do it.Forgive, repent, change, and believe this good news!And it might do well for us to add, "to start living
out that good news, if we haven't already, because of the
possible uncertainty that we will be able to continue to
profess it, less it is said to be offensive to some others.Out of the desert Jesus came, not knowing what he
might face, but he came prepared to change this world for
the better, to offer a new kind of journey, a new
possibility, a new hope.We who are Christians should hold on tightly to that
hope my friends.
There are those would like to deny it to us.
that is going on in the world, and in our country today, we
might be inclined to just give up the journey, to throw in
the towel, to call it quits, to relinquish ourselves to the
conquest of evil. Or we might, despite all of that,
hold close to hem of Jesus' garment as he comes out of that
desert, that we too might come out of the desert. For
my friends, in end, Jesus is in control. Remember, He
is our Saviour, He is quest, and is our HOPE, and He is the
I climbed that hill
I wanted as close to the cross as I could be.
Jesus knew I was coming before I even got there,
Bringing all of my sorrows and troubles, and cares.
I was on my way I needed Him so much,
At the foot of the cross I felt His loving touch.
Finally I could lay all my burdens down,
As I fell to my knees on Gods sacred ground.
I looked up and the cross still stood tall and strong,
Stained with blood for my sins and all I had done wrong.
As my heart beat faster I could hardly believe,
That Jesus suffered for me on this hill called Calvary.
So much peace and love filled my soul,
On that hill where the greatest story was ever told.
Tears started to fall and all I could do was cry,
As I clung to the cross I knew I’d never say goodbye.
I climbed that hill one step at a time,
As Jesus whispered I love you and you will always be mine.
Written By Eva Dimel
Inspired By God
February 15th 2013