Temptation Today

Matthew 4:1-11


Last Week I was working out at the Gym and listening to a sermon on the temptation of Christ. I looked up to see 5 screens: one showed a cooking competition, another the Rachael Ray food show, a third showed a political panel debating Wisconsin and the protests at the state capital, the fourth showed NFL strike talks and the fifth showed a man talking next to a pile of gold bars. There, right in front of me, was an illustration of the temptations we all face every day.

But really, why are these temptations a problem? There is really nothing wrong with loving to cook or loving to eat good food. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with seeking political power. There isn’t even anything intrinsically wrong with money.

When you look at Eve’s decision to eat from the fruit of that one tree, even that looks reasonable. So how do we deal with this? How do we deal with temptation?


Sign On the Dotted Line

Year A, Epiphany 8

Matthew 6:24-34


For weeks now we have been reading the Sermon on the Mount. Starting with the blessings, calling us to be witnesses, and laying out a vision of life transformed by God’s love, Jesus gives us the New Covenant. This week Jesus invites us to commit to live in God’s love. Commit to living in and by the New Covenant. He does this by contrasting life in which money is our master and life in which God is our master. Choosing God is the easy part. Living that way turns out to be the real challenge.

Be Perfect

Be Perfect


Epiphany 7, Year A

Matthew 5:38-48

Be Perfect, Jesus says. Or, in Greek, that would be Teleioi. Translation is an interesting challenge. Words in one language do not correlate directly to words in another language. In any language, words have more than one meaning. Some words are more expressive than others. Some words have a very narrow and specific range of meaning while other words have wide range of possible meanings. Continue reading Be Perfect