We are now in the holiest season in the Christian year. The word Lent comes from lengthening of days and is forty days of preparation for Easter. Lent has traditionally been observed in two ways, a time of repentance for past sins, and time of instruction for living our new life in Christ.
First Sunday of Lent
March 9th, 2014
8:30 a.m. - Holy Eucharist (BCP)
10:30 a.m. - The Great Litany and Choral Eucharist (Incense will be used)
Gospel Meditations and Prayers for Lent
But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'"
We are meant to see the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness as being similar to those that we also suffer. So the Letter to the Hebrews writes: "[he] was in all points tempted like as [we are]" (4:15). That may seem hard to grasp, since this is fairly spectacular: turning stones into bread when you're hungry; proving your power by jumping off tall buildings and seeing if angels will catch you; taking control of the whole world. People who are tempted by these things are usually judged to be crazy. Perhaps this is the way that the Son of God gets tempted - miracles, global power and so on - but not us.
But look at the responses Jesus gives They are all quotations from Scripture itself. A person "shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God" (from Deuteronomy 8:3); "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" (Deut. 6:16); "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" (Deut. 6:13). Each of these answers is a word of God addressed to human beings, and hence speaks to our own conditions and lives directly. In fact, they are words addressed to a particular kind of person: a member of the people of Israel, on their way into the Promised Land, led by the hand of God.
So what kind of temptations are they aimed at? Not just any temptations, but the temptations of those who follow God; of the elect; of the faithful; peculiar to the people of God. In fact, these are Christian temptations in a special way.
Heard in this way, maybe we can begin to see ourselves: the Christian who yearns after other things more than God's own word; the Christian who wants God to prove himself by doing something wonderful (or else...?); the Christian who is less interested in God than in some other desired possession. These are religious temptations, not simply general weaknesses. They are often rampant in our churches and in our hearts as church members and leaders. And this is what the Son of God comes to save us from:
Lord Jesus, purify my faith and my love by your own strength and obedience; let your church cleansed from all temptation so as to be other than the child who rests upon the provision and goodness of her God. Amen.
---The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radnerr
23rd Guelph Sparks meet at St. James with programs for girls ages 5-6. Please click on "Sparks" on the main menu on this website for more information.
1st Guelph St. James Beavers meet at St. James with programs for girls and boys. Please check their website for more information.
Our building is wheel chair accessible.
Fall, Winter, Spring Services
8:30 a..m. Holy Eucharist (BCP)
10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist (BAS)
Please join us for coffee or lunch after the service.
9:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist (BCP)
Tuesday - Friday
9:30 a.m. to Noon
86 Glasgow St. N. Guelph, N1H 4W2
To all who seek friendship,
To all who desire to grow
in relationship with God,
To all who pray
and to all who do not,
To all who mourn
or need comfort,
To all who are weary
and need rest,
To all who need a saviour,
and to all whoever will worship,
This church of St. James the Apostle
opens wide its doors
in the name
of Christ our Lord,