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Weekly Liturgy : February 20-26

Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus in the Wilderness

A Choice. Lauren Wright Pittman. © 2017
A Choice. Lauren Wright Pittman. © 2017
 

TEXT:


Matthew 4:1-11


1-4 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was famished.

The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

But he answered, “It is written,

‘One does not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

5-6 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written,

‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ”

8-10 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,

‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’ ”

11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

 

REFLECTIONS:


All day long, we are are mimicking the desires we see in the world. And many times, what we see others in the world desiring is really glamorous. The security of wealth and power and status is luring. But it also compels us to hoard those things from others. The desires are glamourous, but don’t actually produce a better world.

In this story, Jesus resists the temptation to desire the things the world values. But his resilience isn’t just about will power. It’s about the strength of another desire. In this case: the desire to do his Father’s will, or as one author puts it: “to become the image and likeness of the One in whose image and likeness he knew himself to have been made.”

In a world of competing desires, may we find the resilience to choose to imitate the ones that bring light and life and that move us out of competition and into greater mutuality with the world.


 

PRACTICE:


Outward Mindset Application

Think of a way you are contributing to a workplace problem. Take responsibility for that problem.


Pathways Toward Centeredness

Enthusiasm (loving the world with mystery and celebration): Spend some time looking at images from the James Webb Space Telescope: https://webbtelescope.org/news/first-images/gallery Reflect on the wild and beautifully unknowable (and unknowably beautiful) Cosmos.


Questions for Reflection

When do you feel most resilient in the world? What do you rely on for resilience? What is your favorite kind of bread?

 

You’re Invited!

One of our community practices is to gather every Sunday morning for prayer, friendship, and conversation about the week’s Scripture text. Doors open at 10:30am for coffee and donuts. Our circle begins at 11:00am. We’d love to see you there! The Open Table (@ The old DMV) 2640 N Portland Rd Salem, OR 97301

 

“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.


Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.


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