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Let God In

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, 'He will command his angels concerning you,' and 'On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.' "

Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'Do not pout the Lord your God to the test.' "

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor, and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.' " Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. Matthew 4:1-11 (NRSV)


What are you giving up for Lent? Judy Hoyt Pettigrew, from Florida, knows she is supposed to give up something in order to reflect on Jesus' 40 days in the desert and to prepare for the commemoration of Jesus' death and resurrection. Her immediate answer for way too many years has been "chocolate" and "playing pickleball." Bit if Judy knew she was going to die in 40 days, giving up food and fun would not make the list at all! So, what would she give up?

She'd give up wasting time. She would focus on all the people she hasn't seen or talked to enough and tell them how much they mean to her.

She'd give up trying to tell her grandkids what to do! Instead, she would write down her life's story - hopefully to leave answers to questions they will surely have after she is gone.

She'd give up harbored anger, resentment, and frustration over her failures, the relationships that turned out badly, and the opportunities she ignored.

She'd give it all up to let God in - not just for Lent or 40 days but from this day forward. Let us renew our commitment to follow Jesus' example of obedience as we seek fullness of life in God.


Prayer: Dear God, help us to appreciate the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Give us the courage to follow his leading toward wholeness of life. We pray in his Holy name. Amen.



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