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Temptations Great and Small

Last Sunday’s sermon on Luke’s gospel by Donald Boisvert reviewed Jesus’ temptation in the desert. The scripture is worth reading and re-reading (en français ici).

A contemporary author describes another dimension of temptation… that of the trivial: “There is always the temptation in life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for itsy-bitsy years on end. It is all so self-conscious, so apparently moral to simply step aside from the gaps where the creeks and winds pour down, saying, I never merited this grace, quite rightly, and then to sulk along the rest of your days on the edge of rage. I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous and bitter, more extravagant and bright. We are making hay when we should be making whoopee; raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.” Annie Dillard, In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

We could do worse than pray through the words of this communion hymn, written by Thomas H. Cain:

Eternal Lord of love, behold your Church
walking once more the pilgrim way of Lent,
led by your cloud by day, by night your fire,
moved by your love and
toward your presence bent:
far off yet here the goal of all desire.

So daily dying to the way of self,
so daily living to your way of love,
we walk the road, Lord Jesus, that you trod,
knowing ourselves baptized into your death:
so we are dead and live with you in God.

crocus bloom emergingIf dead in you, so in you we arise,
you the first-born of all the faithful dead;
and as though stony ground
the green shoots break,
glorious in spring time dress
of leaf and flower,
so in the Father’s glory shall we wake.

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