March 5: Who Really Reigns?

In our passage for today, Satan is portrayed as reigning over the world through the existence of oppressive empires like Rome’s. He attempts to entice Jesus with the offer of nationalistic power – a power that many of today’s leaders and their followers are finding quite tempting.

But unlike the Israelites in their own wilderness sojourn and disciples down through the ages, Jesus doesn’t turn away from God toward temptation.

How does he overcome such heady desires for control and might? Several things come to mind that can also help us as we observe Lent:

1.  Jesus remembers his baptism in the Holy Spirit. Jesus is committed to his call to worship and serve God alone. He trusts that he is beloved and empowered as God’s own.

2.  Jesus has been fasting and praying. Though famished in body, he has been fed and strengthened through spiritual disciplines.

3.  Jesus has taken the words and wisdom of scripture to heart and knows them to be true.

Thus, he prevails – and so can we as we sing in unison with our sisters and brothers in Christ:

     Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
     Were not the right One on our side, the One of God’s own choosing.
     Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He, Lord Sabaoth his name,
     From age to age the same; and He must win the battle.
     And though this world with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
    We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us.
    The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
    His rage we can endure. For lo, his doom is sure, One little Word shall fell him.
    That Word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
    The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth.

                                           (Text: Martin Luther/Tune: Ein’ Feste Burg)

Rev. Dr. Dean McDonald
Friend of SFTS

 

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