Breaking Stones, Breaking Bread
Luke Chapter 4: 1-11
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordanand was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone."
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only."
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test."
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting,he left him until an opportune time.
A number of years ago I was in the Atacama Desert it was a blindingly hot sunny day. We were distributing water to a small community of people who had been decanted from their homes because of flooding to this dried up corner of Peru. They had no residual water. They depended on a bashed up broken down lorry to bring water to them on a weekly basis.
As I walked around the area I stopped at a stone quarry. I could hear the sound of a hammer breaking stones. Sitting on the ground was a man with three young children. He had a dirty rag covering his head to give him shade from the intense sun. All four were breaking stones. This was how this man earned his living. Breaking stones for the roads to earn a crust of bread for his children.
In our world we find parents breaking bread with children, to the sound of fingers tapping ipads and iphones, screened from the reality of breaking stones but not from broken promises.
In today’s scripture reading Jesus finds himself in the dustbowl of the desert being tempted to turn stones to bread, He resists the temptation replying, human beings need more than bread to survive.
Today we remember all who break stones
To earn bread for their children
From the dust of the earth
Forgive us for our complacency
Change us so that we rage at injustice
Our faces burning with shame
Renew our hearts and minds
Move us from deep within to do the right thing
For we have turned the bread of your broken body
Into stones that cut and injure the poor
Speak your words
Reshape your promises in our mouths
That we might live out each letter of love
Declaring we are more than dust.