Holy Manna: March 4, 2023

Holy Manna: A Lenten Devotional for St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Read: Matthew 4:1-11

“Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and began to serve Him. “ Matthew 4:11 (NAB)

We might notice three sections to this passage of Matthew: the Spirit leading Jesus into the desert, the temptations, and angels coming and serving Him. I like “good” endings like this, where the preceding tension and struggle are resolved. In this case, the resolution was hard-earned. Jesus stays with the temptations, listens to them, and discerns how they seek to pry him away from his commitment to a community that lives in faithful relationship with God.

The Spirit leads him into the desert away from his family, friends, and faith community yet the ties are too strong for Jesus to act outside of these relationships. Jesus does not succumb to a selfish solitude that disconnects him from others and from God.

Jesus has given us a pattern to follow when we are led into the desert of temptation. We may feel alone but we are not alone, we are vitally interconnected in the web of God’s creation and Love, no matter where we find ourselves. It is our community of faith, those known and unknown, who daily remind us of this interconnected web of Love. As a community, we are both givers and receivers of this Love which strengthens us in desert times of temptation.

May our love be strong for each other, may our hope be strong for each other, and may our prayers be strong for each other, as we are knit together in God’s heart. Amen.

-Sharon Weldon