Moravian Messenger February 2021
P. 1

The truth is that I wasn't keen on Lent as a child growing up in the Church of England. The imperative to give something up for Lent made little sense. Give up what? Chocolate and sweets seemed to be the popular choice. Not a problem, they were still on ration and I could just keep my coupons until Easter. In reality it turned out like new year resolutions. I either chose something extremely easy, or I failed within days.
Later, of course, I began to understand a little more. Jesus went out into the wilderness to fast for forty days. It was often thought that denying the body sustenance would open the mind to inspiration. Jesus was not the first to do this and he wouldn't be the last.
Matthew, Mark and Luke all mention the temptations, but only Matthew and Luke have the details. They all agree that it happens directly after Jesus' baptism by his cousin John and before the start of his public ministry. Into the wilderness
he goes, probably with the words of affirmation that he heard from God by the Jordan ringing in his ears, to try and find out what being God's son entails.
At his weakest he is tempted. Firstly by his hunger, 'Turn these stones into bread'. That must have been hard to resist. He was hungry, starving and if he did it nobody would know, there would be no witnesses. So why resist? I think that to give in to this temptation would have been to allow miracles to be the central part of his being and his mission. That would have been the easier path but it might have led him away from God's path, away from his humanity and, maybe, away from the cross.
The other temptations were to test the core of Jesus' being and it was where he discovered that core was to be total reliance on his Father.
So, Lent gives us a chance to try and find our core beliefs. Therefore, for the first time in many years I have decided to
give up something for Lent. I am going to give up some time. I will allocate 30 minutes every day to just sit and think, to contemplate and maybe write down some conclusions, if there are any.
This will be a time away from the daily routine, a time to be alone and a time to let go. I am pretty certain that, at times, I will hear a little voice in my ear saying, 'Well, this is a waste of time, isn't it? You could be painting or playing Football Manager'. Hopefully, however, I might just get a little closer to understanding my relationship with God. I won't have to go out into a wilderness, just into my quiet place, but my hope is that I can learn just a little from the temptations of Christ and be able to recognise those temptations in my
life that sometimes separate me from him.
Br Blair Kesseler
Hall Green
A problem within a problem
(page 16)
Drive-In Christingle Service 2020
(page 17)
Jesus’ ministry was in large part about
(page 18)
Behind the scenes at the Irish District Drive in Christingle
(page 19)
Image by janrye from Pixabay

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