Pause

Notice your breathing.

With each breath, become aware of the love with which God looks at you in this moment.

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Listen

Next the devil led him to a high place and showed him in a single instant all the kingdoms of the world. The devil said, “I will give you this whole domain and the glory of all these kingdoms. It’s been entrusted to me and I can give it to anyone I want. Therefore, if you will worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only him.”

Luke 4:5-8

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Think

There was a popular book called The Things They Carried about a bunch of soldiers in Vietnam and what they carried. Bibles, letters, snacks, things that might come in handy. Things that reminded them that they are loved. Things that grounded them.

In the incident from Jesus’s life that we read about today, Jesus is in a tough situation, journeying in the wilderness. He’s hungry and alone, in a desolate place. He’s already been tempted once, and the temptations just keep coming.

Here, when he needs guidance, Jesus reaches inside himself and finds scripture. It’s something he carried in him, something that grounded him. Jesus rejects the devil’s offer by quoting from the book of Deuteronomy.

Do you carry scripture inside of you? How might scripture ground you when you find yourself in the wilderness?

Jane Hartwell

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Pray

God, when I have to make a hard choice, help me to reach inside myself and find my connection to you. Amen.

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Go

Whenever you find yourself journeying through a wilderness,

struggling with temptation, with weakness,

fearful of the shadows in your heart,

remember the words of Paul:

“I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.”

Romans 8:38-39

Jane Hartwell

Jane Hartwell was the Youth Missioner for the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, where she enjoyed creating retreats with teens. She lives in Portland, Maine.

O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go

Mark Hayes

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