The Rev. Dr. Paul Kolbet
Isaiah 42:1-9, Psalm 29, Acts 10:34-43, Matthew 3:13-17
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In our Gospel reading, we find Nicodemus. He was a good man, a teacher, and a keeper of the law, yet, even though doing so much that was right, he still struggled with a need that he had. We are not told specifically what it was, but when you need something, in a sense, it doesn’t matter why or what, it just matters that you feel the need. Whatever it was, it was pressing enough that he ventured out in the dark, at night, alone, looking to have a conversation with Jesus. There is something so AD 30 about this story. In 2020, he probably would have asked his phone, right? Or maybe, after calculating the rick of encountering the Novel Coronavirus, he would have stayed home Googling for answers?
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.