Daily Worship

How to get down again

Lily Cathcart March 11, 2022 0 1
Image credit: Unsplash
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Luke 4: 9-13 (NRSVA)

9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

“He will command his angels concerning you,
    to protect you”,

11 and

“On their hands they will bear you up,
    so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”’

12 Jesus answered him, ‘It is said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.”’ 13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Have you ever stood on a hill and wondered how to get down again? You could go the way you came but what if you are feeling restless? I used to live in the Yorkshire Dales and once decided to leap onto a new path down a hill. I was feeling adventurous and restless, I figured that I lived in those hills, so I could handle it right?

I was wrong. I scrambled, slid, fell and backtracked for an hour before I finally found a path I knew would lead me home. I was amazed by how far I had strayed from my destination and how easily I could have been injured and not found by my friends.

In today’s passage from Luke, Jesus finds himself on a pinnacle with the choice of going down the way he arrived or leaping and believing that angels would catch him before he too was injured and lost. Whether angels would have caught him isn’t the point of this interaction, the point is that Jesus knows the scriptures just like I knew the hills around my home. They felt familiar and safe and inviting. But Jesus knows more than the scriptures, he knows God, inside and out, Jesus knows that the point isn’t whether he would be caught but not to jump at all. Not to test God in pursuit of power and self glorification.

Of course Jesus’s temptations are not exactly like me on a hill. I was not looking for power, although perhaps I would have boasted to my friends about the adventure if it had been a great success. As it was I had a humbling and funny story to tell and I knew myself and God better for the misadventure.




Dear God of our hearts

Be with us as we make big and small choices in our lives

Protect us from testing you for our own ends

Watch over us as we walk new paths and old

Hold our hands and jump with us


Lent Disciplines

As we think about the wilderness this week, let’s take time every day to contemplate God’s gift of creation with its incredible varieties of habitat. Consider if there’s anything you can do this week to actively care for God’s world.