GIVING US TRUE VALUE EVEN IN THE DUST
LUKE 3:15, 4: 1-4
15 The interest of the people by now was building. They were all beginning to wonder, “Could this John be the Messiah?”
Tested by the Devil
4 1-2 Now Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wild. For forty wilderness days and nights he was tested by the Devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when the time was up he was hungry.
3 The Devil, playing on his hunger, gave the first test: “Since you’re God’s Son, command this stone to turn into a loaf of bread.”
4 Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to really live.”
What wildernesses have you, or do you, or does someone you care for- inhabit?
Where and when have your deepest questions remained unanswered?
Where or when have your hopes turned to dust?
Where or when have your deepest longings dried up?
Jesus came to stand with us in these benighted places, as well as in the everyday. Chronic or terminal physical or mental illnesses,
being abandoned by someone we love,
loss of job or money, or purpose,
loneliness, violence, addiction...
Jesus stood in the wilderness surrounded by our toughest questions,
and was human in every way.
Hungry, dusty and alone,
he struggled with the rawness of our temptations
that he might stand beside us at all times.
In our abandonment, in our grief, he tells us we are more than dust.
Our value is that we are worth all his suffering and pain,
because we are created and loved by God.
He is not put off by humiliation or grief,
Or by bad choices or frightening feelings,
Or dreadful actions.
When in our brokenness we turn to him for help
He will lead us in all our frailty, however long it takes,
Into the ways of peace.
Jesus, we depend on your grace
Which knows the dust of the wilderness;
And offers to refresh us and strengthen us
With living water.
Rescue us when we cannot even reach out to you;
Hold us in your strong and tender arms
While we battle real and imagined enemies;
And bring us home to our loving God.