Monday, February 15, 2010

Luke 4:1-13

Lent 1 - Year C

Luke 4:1-13

Water baptized on the outside; Holy Spirit filled on the inside. Jesus says, "Bring it on."

A wilderness test: is there sufficient Spirit stored, camel-like, to lead beyond hunger, prestige, and security to see their temporary nature?

An ordinary test: Is there sufficient Spirit stored, guanaco-like, to lead beyond thirst, glory, and power to see their temporary nature?

As always with tests, there is another one coming. What might become appropriate disciplines and/or methodologies to prepare for future tests?

The hints here lie with three processes.

First, a trained perception to not be fooled by the surface, first level, or literalistic level of life. We don't live by bread alone or scripture alone or any other one answer response.

Second, an experienced appreciation for layers of worth. We often settle for one good (allowing participation in several other evils) rather than striving for additional virtues.

Third, a deepened appreciation of limits that we don't put our security needs in some magical basket. Perceived tests are often not that, simply another part of life's journey, and taking them lightly moves us past either/or, right/wrong, answers and into responses more appropriate to a much longer journey than this moment.

May your innate and accumulated spirit find you a willing fellow-traveler.

= = = = = = = notes a helpful adjunct for this note by Barbara Brown Taylor, "Settling for Less"


  1. Oh my goodness Wesley, this is some wonderful stuff! And the Barbara Brown Taylor piece you point to-- just read that yesterday, and was blown away by it.

    May I quote you, with attribution of course? Great, great reflection.

  2. Magdalene -

    All the material here is open for use with. Attribution is appreciated.

    What I failed to do myself was to note that some of the later part of the prayer fragment or poem was stimulated by "Provoking the Gospel of Luke" by Richard W. Swanson. He refers to the role of The Satan as a Building Inspector. He refers back to other tests (Mudguy Adam, Mother-of-Life Eve, and Abraham with Isaac) with a wondering about the play of some rabbis that the appropriate response to tests is not to be limited to a yes/no or be restricted to the choices given, but "Forget it". This leads him to a question, after reflecting on Sophie's Choice - "Is it possible that Jesus also fails because he chooses between the options he is given." I find that his "Provoking" series to have been well worth the money, but then I experience artistic theologians to be more accessible than systematic theologians.

  3. Oops -

    My previous response was based on a misapprehension of which posting you were referring to. I now see you were referring to the Luke posting from Monday rather than the poem-form of today (Friday).

    I guess that one (this one) [ahh, sweet antecedents - meaning Monday's blog] is (dare I say, was) mostly my put together. Thanks for your kind words.


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