All this is the role that Jesus is acting out in the wilderness. He learns to be the precarious one in the desert. But where Moses reassured his listeners with the little word when, as in ‘when you come into the land,’ the devil comes to Jesus and thrice tempts him with the word if. If is the entry to privation, not abundance. ‘If you are . . .’ is supposed to cause Jesus to doubt that he is the Son of God and feel the need to prove it. If is the trigger for me to foreclose, to grasp my identity before time, to settle for a fake identity rather than to wait for the identity that is mine already, but coming upon me, not available to be grasped. —James Alison, https://outline.com/EULmKB
…my son continued his hand-me-down exposition of the text. Leaning closer to me and dropping his voice to a loud whisper, he said, ‘If we were at a store, and you and Dad were in one aisle, and I was in another aisle, and’—his hushed tones became downright conspiratorial at this point—‘there was candy…’ He paused for effect. ‘The devil would say, “You should take some!”’ I am not sure what was most startling to me in this retelling of the story of Luke 4:1–13 by my three-year-old: that he could, in fact, retell it—especially in such dramatic fashion—or that the version he had learned placed such heavy emphasis on the temptation and the personified tempter. — Lori Brandt Hale, Feasting on the Word: Year C, Vol. 2
What are you giving up for Lent? You have to give something up for Lent, don’t you? Alcohol, chocolate, Facebook… Something, anything.
Lent is all about self-denial. Isn’t it?
Jane Williams writes
Lent is not primarily about ‘giving things up’, or denying ourselves. It is about finding ourselves.
Lent is about finding ourselves… The thing is, we’ve been hiding ourselves, and hiding from ourselves, ever since Adam and Eve discovered they were naked.
We hide from ourselves by achieving things, and defining ourselves by our achievements. And of course, an achievement can be almost anything—a well-paying job, a trophy spouse, a PhD, a child who has done well, winning a competition…
We hide from ourselves by drinking, by using other drugs, by driving too fast, taking risks, anything really that turns our eyes away from ourselves and who we actually are.