Reflections: February 21, 2021
The First Sunday in Lent
By Aaron T. Fenker
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Adam failed. He didn't defend his wife, ate the fruit, and blamed God for it. The Israelites failed. They didn't trust the LORD, grumbled about the manna He gave them to eat in the desert, and blamed God for all their problems. Everyone in between failed: Noah, Abraham, Jacob. Everyone after Israel in the wilderness failed: Moses, David, Solomon. You fail. I do, too. From Adam all the way down to you and me--we've all failed. Everyone fails in temptation. Everyone, except Jesus.
In fact, it wasn't about passing or failing. No, it's something far more sinister than that. While in a sense it was a failure to measure up, at its core the problem was Adam's complete and total rebellion. You and I do it, too. God gives. We desire something else. God doesn't give. We take. Gift given from God. Gift rejected by mankind.
The devil hates God's Word, and so he tempts you to hate it, too, and to desire something else. It doesn't matter if that Word of God is on a tree, on Adam and Eve, on Jesus, or even on you. Whatever has the Word of God attached to it is something the devil hates and wants to destroy, and he'll use us to do it!
The Tree of Life and all other trees for eating, but not the tree of knowledge. Devil says, "That won't do. Use your eyes and belly instead of your ears to decide what's good and bad."
"God's image lost." Created in His image--what word of promise!--now they were enemies with God and with each other. The devil's plan was going well. You sin daily and much, too. "Wisdom," and "being like God" sound like lofty things. Far better than fashions or things we want that won't be around for more than a year.
Adam 2.0. Jesus. He comes. Takes the devil on and wins. The devil hates the Word of God on Him: "This is my beloved Son." He hates that Word who is Jesus, dead at Calvary. Same Word on you. Baptized. You, beloved son, beloved daughter. Now you are in Jesus, and, with Him on your side, "our victory cannot fail" even in temptation. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O Lord God, You led Your ancient people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide the people of Your Church that following our Savior we may walk through the wilderness of this world toward the glory of the world to come; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for the First Sunday in Lent)
-Rev. Aaron T. Fenker is the pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran churches in Bremen, KS.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
He is also the dean of theology for Higher Things.
Reflections: January 1, 2021This Just In: The Ultimate ResolutionReflections: January 2, 2021Reflections: January 3, 2021Reflections: January 4, 2021Video Short: January 5, 2021Video Short: January 4, 2021Reflections: January 5, 2021Reflections: January 6, 2021Video Short: January 6, 2021Under the Cross: Don't Look at the ListReflections: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 7, 2021Video Short: January 8, 2021Reflections: January 8, 2021Dean's List: The Catechism Really Is for YouReflections: January 9, 2021Reflections: January 10, 2021Reflections: January 11, 2021Video Short: January 11, 2021Helpful Things: Fundraising Essentials FOR YOUReflections: January 13, 2021Video Short: January 12, 2021Reflections: January 12, 2021Video Short: January 13, 2021Reflections: January 14, 2021Video Short: January 14, 2021Under the Cross: You Don't Belong to This WorldReflections: January 15, 2021Video Short: January 15, 2021Reflections: January 16, 2021Reflections: January 17, 2021Reflections: January 18, 2021Video Short: January 18, 2021This Just In: Martin Luther King, Jr.--The Man Who Had a DreamReflections: January 19, 2021Video Short: January 19, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint SebastianReflections: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 20, 2021Video Short: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 21, 2021Reflections: January 22, 2021Reflections: January 23, 2021Video Short: January 22, 2021Dean's List: Jesus Hits the Spot!Reflections: January 24, 2021Reflections: January 25, 2021Reflections: January 26, 2021Video Short: The Conversion of St. PaulHelpful Things: Effective Fundraising Through Midweek MealsVideo Short: Suffering Doesn't Mean God Doesn't Love YouReflections: January 27, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday: Karma, Karma, KarmaVideo Short: Abortion and the Church's WorkReflections: January 28, 2021Reflections: January 29, 2021Video Short: What Goes On In Your Pastor's Mind About Closed CommunionFoundations: You Need Your Pastor More Than EverReflections: January 30, 2021Reflections: January 31, 2021
Reflections: February 1, 2021Video Short: Stretching Out To RepentVideo Short: Parable of Those Gifted in the VineyardReflections: February 2, 2021Dead Christians You Should Know About: Saint Blaise of SebasteSpeaking of Faith: The Liturgy Is Tried and True EvangelismReflections: February 3, 2021Video Short: Woke Wednesday De-platformingReflections: February 4, 2021Video Short: Hearing Law and GospelVideo Short: The Anti-Catholic ParadoxDean's List: Called to ServeReflections: February 5, 2021Reflections: February 6, 2021Reflections: February 7, 2021Reflections: February 8, 2021Video Short: Ears on the Sower... And the SeedNo blog found.