Year A - First Sunday in Lent or Conviction 
March 9, 2014
“Then.” Quite the way to begin a passage for our consideration.
Then? Does what follows come as an automatic result of being filled with belovedness? As surely as day follows night, temptation is hot on the trail of assurance.
Temptation doesn’t even wait for the arrival of some tempter, some Satan. The very decision to fast itself was a temptation. Somehow the assurance of belovedness is self-tested. How can I be sure that what I just experienced is true? Aha! I’ll fast to have assurance confirmed.
Then comes the official three-fold temptation. If, if, if. Temptations need the cover of hypotheticals. They grow in its grayness.
Now the nasty question. Does passing a test grant one any more assurance of belovedness than failing them? If belovedness is imputed, no. If belovedness is a given, a gift, no. If belovedness is conditional, it is still no.
Belovedness is as gravity. Live in it. Believe it or not, it still is with you.
It is not necessary to pass a test to claim your belovedness.