Cycle C

Good News C14

First Sunday in Lent

 

 New American Bible Luke 4:1-13

Bible Gateway New International Version Luke 4:1-13

         

          This is the first Sunday in Lent.  Last Wednesday was the first of the forty days before Easter Sunday.   Lent is a time to choose to walk a little closer to God than we usually do.  During this time we can strive harder to stop our sinning ways.  This is a time to say “No” to the devil each time he tempts us. This is a time to set out to do more good things for God’s honor and glory.

There are people who will do most anything for power…for control.  The Devil has got them right where he wants them.  However, the devil didn’t get what he wanted with Jesus.  Jesus did not fall for any of the devil’s stories.  Jesus refused to bow down and worship him no matter what power he promised. The devil must have gone into a fit of depression after that meeting with Jesus. In the story, Rumplestiltskin, the little man who helped spin the straw into gold for the Miller’s daughter, pitched a fit when she guessed his name and he didn’t get to take her baby away. He stomped and stomped and about dug a hole in the ground he was so angry. This is the way I envision the Devil pitching a fit when he doesn’t get his way. 

          When the devil is tempting you to do something you know is wrong, say these words:  “Out devil in the name of Jesus.” If you are in your house, open the door and say, “Out devil in the name of Jesus.”  There are people who will do almost anything for power…for control...for money.  The devil has got them right where he wants them.  

Are you a controlling person?  Or do you let others have the freedom to choose their actions? Or do they have to do it your way?

Power…control…and money are not evil.  It is how they are used that decides whether it is good or evil.

Do you use your power to help make the world a better place?   Do you use your control to make yourself a better person?  Do you use your money to help yourself and others?

If you want or need something, God will show you how to get it legally.  You won’t have to break the law to get it.  The brains God gave you will enable you to get everything you need in life.  God gives you choices.  Many people think the only way they can make a lot of money is by ways that are against the law. A man or woman can make the same fortune by using good means instead of ways that are against the law. 

Suggestions for activities that will lead you closer to God during Lent…

Pray in the morning before you get up out of bed, pray in the afternoon, pray in the evening, pray at night before you go to bed.

Read one of the Gospels from beginning to end.

Tell a story about how God has helped you.

Encourage someone who is sad or sick.

Clean out your closet and choose 3 or more items you don’t use any more and give them to Goodwill, Salvation Army, Amvets, or Crisis Assistance Ministry.

If you have extra money, give it to the Church or to the Red Cross to help people who are in the midst of a disaster.

Donate money for a phone card for people in the military.

Donate a toy you haven’t played with in a year to Crisis Assistance Ministry.

Buy a new stuffed animal to give to police or firemen in your community to give to a child who needs one because they have just been through a life-threatening situation.

Set the table for supper.

Pray that people take better care of themselves and the earth.

Be a peacemaker. Pray for you and your enemy.

Write out a new blessing and read it at the next meal with your family.

 

          Say the “Our Father.” Thank God for your daily bread.  Thank him for giving you the talents, skills, family, and friends to make you strong so that you can always choose him.  Ask God to keep you away from evil and help you to say “No” to the devil.   

 

“Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.”

              

 

 

Copyright © 2004 Joan Y. Edwards