It wouldn’t be Lent without one “temptation in the wilderness” post. We are all familiar with the story, after being baptized, Jesus wanders into the desert and is tempted by the devil for forty days. The last three temptations being — bread for a starving Jesus, all the kingdoms of the world, and to throw himself over a cliff to prove he is the son of God. Jesus resists the temptations and the devil departs.
During Lent we each traverse our own personal deserts fasting, praying, meditating and serving. No one suggests we turn rocks into bread, offers us world domination, or suggests we jump off a cliff to put God to a test, but we are all tempted, early and often. I don’t mean simply to have one oatmeal raisin cookie, a glass of wine, or a piece of chocolate cake. I’m talking about real temptations — the temptations this material world confronts us with every day. One by one the temptations take different forms, but they all entice us with worldly riches, power and prestige, or the testing of God.
Lent reminds me of spring practice in football. It is during the spring where champions are made. The offense and defense schemes are designed, the players make their “bones” so to speak, and individuals become a team. We practice resisting temptation during Lent so we are prepared for our new life after Easter. You have a better analogy I’m sure.
Do you think temptations eventually depart like Satan in the desert. Luke reminds us of reality. “When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until a more opportune time.”