Please read the story of the temptation of Jesus in Luke 4:1-13.

There are at least two stories going on here. The first is the story that I think is most familiar to us because we live it. It is the story the devil presents of self-reliance where you have to prove your worth and who you are. It’s the story that says, “you have to look out for number one. No one else is going to do it for you.”  It’s the story that says that you make yourself and what matters most is proving your worth. It’s a story that is played out time and time again in our society telling us that we are not enough just as we are. 

The other story is the story that Jesus’ life reflects as he continually challenges the narrative of ego, status, power, and worth. This is the story that says our identity is rooted in being a child of God, not in what we can produce. This story is about trust and dependence on God, faithfulness and obedience rather than competition and power grabbing. It is a story of being secure in the knowledge that we are enough exactly as we are. 

As you read through the temptations that the devil throws at Jesus, what other stories are grabbing your attention these days? 

What stories are you hearing around you in your home, our nation, or our world that reflect or contradict the story of Jesus’ life? 

What stories are leading you deeper into God’s grace? 

As we live with the Gospel of Luke this season, may we hold fast to the story of God’s expansive love which invites us to roll up our sleeves together as we turn our attention to being the hands and feet of Christ. 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Let us pray:
Holy God, creator of light and giver of goodness, you anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit and revealed him as your beloved. Immerse us in your grace, and transform us by your Spirit, that we may follow after your Son and continually rejoice to be called children of God. Be with us this day as we seek to do your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Friend, Amen.