Lent 1, 2-22-15, Wilderness Temptation (Pastor Ross), Traditional

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT                                    Genesis 9:8–17
ST. PETER’S – NEFFSVILLE                                                1 Peter 3:18–22
MARCH 1, 2015                                                                            Mark 1:9–15

Preaching Text – (Mark 1:9-15)In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’ (NRSV)

NOTE — Today’s sermon was delivered “away” from the pulpit in a more informal presentation. The following bullet points capture the main themes of the sermon, but not all the detail.

To get to the wilderness – have to journey
It is never nearby, right
If it was, it wouldn’t be the wilderness.
Best if you walk – gives you time to think
Wilderness is about thinking and reflecting
And being tempted – there’s that, too.
1st Lent – always temptation in wilderness
All three Gospels
Mark’s is the shortest – fewest details
Maybe why it is most accessible.

Matt & Luke talk a lot about Satan
Too specific – Satan lives in here some
Can’t always resist the temptations within.
Don’t need Jesus-type temptations
Can’t turn flour into bread, let alone stones
Authority over kingdoms, really?
Throwing self from temple – no base jump
Yes, Mark’s much more accessible.
Judges me quite well in 2 sentences, thanx
READ VERSES 12-13 — And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

TEMPTED BY SATAN – all it says – enough
What are yours, (name)?
Naw, don’t want to know – they are the same as (name)’s
Being non-specific is much tougher
We ALWAYS know our temptations, right?
All Satan does is show up and smile
Like when mom caught you as a kid – look
We always know our sins & temptations

WITH THE WILD BEASTS – “therion”
2 others – viper (Acts 28), beast (Rev.)
Ah, you thought I was going to the kids
Person sleeps … hymns … not here
Internal temptations may be the worst
We face external ones, too.
Culture can be especially beastly, right?
Promise us everything we want
Illusion that we can achieve that – need it
Description of sin, right – what we want.

That is probably enough, isn’t it.
Inner/outer sources of temptation
1st Lent not ONLY about temptation
Notice the framework for the story.
Baptism – God’s claim of sonship for Jesus
Concludes with the start of public work.
Mark’s framing — so obvious – so simple
Temptation arises life
Time between our baptism and work.
In short – they are part of life.

That is probably enough, isn’t it.
Temptation in the real world
Spirit is also in the real world.
And the Spirit sends us angels
I know where the angels are in the world
Sitting right here among us.
Actually, the Spirit makes us angels.
Amen.

Rev. Craig Ross

Rev. Craig Ross

Senior Pastor

I have always appreciated the positive perspective on life and faith that is here… the broad range of life/social/political perspectives in our congregation… and the staff with whom I am blessed to work.