Traditionally Sundays are not part of Lent, they are break from the discipline, a brief peak into Easter, initially so far off on the horizon. They are a rest days, a true break fast, which is where the word breakfast comes from, breaking our overnight fast. Today we take a break from the previous six days of Lenten discipline, though on this first week, there were only four.
As I look over my notes from church today, I remember the Gospel was on Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. I made a point to remind myself that the devil did not arrive until the end of our Lord’s forty day fast. He was weak. His trial did not come in the midst of his strength, but at his moment of greatest weakness.
With that in mind it is interesting to note where Jesus drew his strength to meet each temptation. He didn’t look inside himself and muster up the power to deal with his adversary. Instead he drew upon the Word; he answered every test with Scripture, putting each temptation in its place.
Too often we try to deal with the trials of life in our own strength. We try to thwart the advances of the evil one, rather than relying on God and his word. Jesus gave us the pattern, we ought to be smart enough to use it.
When we begin to slip, we often think the problem is external, in the temptation. Instead the problem is internal, with how we choose to deal with the enticement. As Paul reminds us in his second letter to the Corinthians, our weakness is the perfect conduit for God’s strength to meet our need, if we will allow it. One avenue of God’s strength that is readily available to us is his Word. We should use it; often.
Remember that this week as we delve further into the nature and purpose of death. God has given us the answers we need, we just have to open his Word and use them.
Grace and peace to you and those you love this week.