Daily Worship

Jesus’s Place

James Cathcart February 28, 2023 1 0
Image credit: Unsplash
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Matthew 3:16 - 4:11 (NRSVA)

(3) 16 And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’

(4) 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted for 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 splendour; 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 the burning wilderness

surrounded by dry rocks and dismal gorse

but your skin knew the dark cool of the river’s swell.

In the shimmer of endless harrowing grit

your eye could recall the light that played on water’s surface.

As the wind yawned and howled, scratching at you

your ears could still hear the rise and thud and heave and splash.


At the pinnacle of the temple

your feet could feel — not polished stone — but soft sand and curved shells

and the plumes of life between your toes.

At the high mountain peak

you were oblivious to the buffeting winds

held as you were, floating on the still water.


And as the vultures circled,

you saw among them

a dove,

scarred and broken

but flying free.




Dear God,

remind us that — like Jesus — our place is first and foremost in your love

and only secondly in the wilderness.

Bear us along Lord.

Remind us of what we are

and of what matters.


Lent Disciplines


We begin by focusing on ‘place’ — one of the themes in the first week of our Daily Worship. Pray this week for people who feel they don’t have a place, that they might start to feel they belong. Pray for places that need restoration and repair. Pray that we take good care of the places entrusted to us.