Sermon: “On Lent: Its Temptations and Possibilities” – March 1st, 2020

The Rev. Paul R. Kolbet, All Saints Chelmsford

Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1, Psalm 32, Romans 5:12-19, Matthew 4:1-11

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Jesus “was led by the Spirit in the wilderness” to be “tempted [or tested] by the devil” for “forty days.” This first Sunday of Lent we meditate on Jesus’s temptation in the desert as we begin our own period of personal reflection and discipline that occupies us for the forty days leading up to Easter. Today we find Jesus alone in the wilderness. After he has gone without eating for 40 days, he was terribly hungry and began hearing a voice. Not a good one! We are told it was the Devil’s voice so we know before it says anything at all that it will be a lying voice of destruction and death. You know this voice; it is the voice that steals your joy! But, on the surface, the Devil’s voice always sounds reasonable. That Dread Spirit invites Jesus to turn stones to bread, suggests that Jesus hurl himself down from a tall building in Jerusalem so that God could miraculously intervene and save him, and finally offers him rule over of the earth if only he would worship the Devil. This is how Jesus is tempted.