Sermon – Lent One: Into the Wilderness – April Karli

March 3rd, 2020 | Josh Williams

For the first Sunday of Lent, April Karli guided us through Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness where we considered the question: To what extent do we trust God?

Scripture and quotes:
Matthew 4:1-11
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,
‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up,so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9 and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God,  and serve only him.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.In what way does the self-denial of whatever make you more mindful of Christ and the Kingdom of God?

For me, I don’t want to think of it as only giving up but rather a season of more deeply ‘giving in’ or ‘giving to’…
When you give up something, replace it with something more beautiful, more just, more compassionate, more honoring to Christ. Removing weeds without planting something…only produces more weeds later. When you give up _______ for Lent, do it with purpose and love for God. Give yourself more fully to Jesus and the Kingdom of God.” – Eugene Cho

“Jesus instructs us not to seek or run after power but rather to come after him. When you get me, he says, you get it all. You come after me by receiving the least of these, not the rich and famous. By serving the orphan, the poor, the widow, the felon, and the refugee. You welcome me by welcoming the stranger and receiving them as your own. You get me, you become great. I am your prestige. I am your greatness. I am your privilege and power. I am your treasure. I am your reward. I am your glory.” – Donna Barber

“There’s tests every day,” he says. “I’m the same age as Mark Zuckerberg and I have dark moments where I think, ‘I want to be just as rich as Mark Zuckerberg and I want to compete with him to be on the Forbes list. And I want to be on the cover of Time magazine, making lots of money.’ All these greedy things are tempting.” “It’s not like it’s easy to just turn down. But my life is so much better.” -Dan Price

“In our culture of constant access and nonstop media, nothing feels more like a curse from God than time in the wilderness. To be obscure, to be off the beaten path, to be in the wilderness feels like abandonment. It seems more like exile than a vacation. To be so far off of everyone’s radar that the world might forget about us for a while? That’s almost akin to death…[But] far from being punishment, judgment, or a curse, the wilderness is a gift. It’s where we can experience the primal delight of being fully known and delighted in by God.” -Jonathan Martin

Liturgy, Podcast