#WeekendPlans: “Temptation in the Wilderness” 3/6/22

Please join us tomorrow for zoom church with Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly as she presents the theme “Temptation in the Wilderness.” Intrigued? We begin at 10:30 am, with fellowship and 11:00 am for worship. Zoom link provided to church members and their contacts.

#SermonNotes: 2/21/21 @ChaplainSherrie

“Temptation in the Desert” by Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly, New Church of Montgomery. Sunday, February 21, 2021.

Rainbow is the sign of a covenant between God and his descendants, that a flood will never again destroy the earth and all its inhabitants.

In the psalm we are reminded of God’s loyalty. The Lord’s steadfastness. That his covenant with the faithful is strong.

Those who were waiting while the ark was being built were saved by the Lord, and their conscience were clear of impediments.

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Then, a white dove descended with the Lord’s acclamation of pleasure.

He was tempted by Satan in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. The wild animals with him, and angels attended him.

Jesus visited Galilee proclaiming good news of the Kingdom of God.

Forty days not only symbolizes being in the desert. It also represents total devastation, being stripped of the physical body and material things so that one might be reborn anew as a spiritual and heavenly being.

Jesus was tempted three times in the desert of Judea.

  1. hedonism (comfort, satisfaction)
  2. egoism (spectacular throw/might)
  3. materialism (kingdom/wealth)

Satan was the prince of the world, the redeemer of the worldly. We are tempted by the realms of the worldly. We are tempted by the flesh, the world, and the devil.

There are many ways to overcome temptation.

Assisted by a bit of internet research:

  1. Be conscious of God’s provision to help us in any tempting situation.
  2. Take heed of God’s Word…
  3. Pray for strength
  4. Forego self-gratification
  5. Grow into Spiritual Maturity
  6. Surround yourself with people of value
  7. Resist the Devil
  8. Run away from dangerous places

By resisting temptation, we grow stronger.

We acknowledge temptation, we turn away to a better path.

Father P.J. Michael reports several benefits of resisting temptation:

  1. Christians are led to more solid virtues and greater merits of Heaven
  2. Temptation reveal the interior of our hearts and tear away all our disguises
  3. Temptation can inspire humility within us
  4. Temptation discourages complacency
  5. Temptation draws us closer to God
  6. Temptation points us to faith, hope charity and other virtues

So what are modern day temptations we all have to deal with? What must we be aware of and hope to avoid?

  1. Self and family over others and community
    1. Antidotes: reaching out and generosity toward others especially those in need

2. Community, state and nation over other countries and the planet.

Antidote: reading, travel, listening to others, especially other cultures to expand ones awareness and understanding and increasing environmental stewardship.

3. Material things over spiritual things.

Antidote: Lenten discipline and practices. Foregoing something to mean its absence and appreciate its return. Adding a daily spiritual practice such as a gratitude list, readings…

With recent freezing in Texas and elsewhere many people are suffering and in great need.

And of course, to varying degrees we each suffer and are in need.

The Lord’s presence in the midst of temptation and suffering is a balm to our hearts and souls.

Let us take deep breaths and hold ourselves above harm when things are difficult.

Let us reach out to others who many have needs which they are reluctant to show.

Let us appreciate the community we feel, even on zoom, and perhaps thanks to technology, especially on zoom, as we welcome and connect with friends in Florida, Michigan and elsewhere.

The Lord is with us in our holy temples, in our communities, in our homes and in our hearts.

In this solemn time of Lent, pausing for 40 days to reflect in the desert, let us continue to praise the Lord, with gratitude, and with grace. Amen.

#WeekendPlans: #TemptationInTheDesert w/@ChaplainSherrie

Please join us on zoom, this Sunday at 9:45 am for Sunday School, 10:30 am for Fellowship, and 11:00 am for Worship Service with local Cincinnati Pastor, Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly. Zoom link will be emailed to church attendees and their contacts.

Photo by Ian Beckley on Pexels.com