For the love to practice virtue
For the wisdom to remember who virtue is for
Today’s text: Luke 4:1-13
RELATED TO THE CHRIST’S HIDDENESS is his experience of temptation. Jesus is not spared from the spiritual challenges common to us all; his identity, his history, his power do nothing to stop the pull upon him to reject God and pursue his own ways. The fact that Jesus says no to the Evil One is less about Jesus’ own power and more about his love for the Father, and the Father’s love for Jesus as evidenced in his word, which Jesus quotes.
We know a weak version of this in our own lives. The spouse who travels to a far city may be tempted to cheat on the beloved, but there are two things that hold temptation at bay: the promise, the word that was spoken at marriage, and the love that the spouse has for the beloved. If the traveling spouse believes that word and that the beloved is his for all time, then his or her promise and love is the catalyst that holds the traveler to what the ancients would have recognized as virtue. Keep in mind, our goodness, our courage, our kindness—all those things we call virtues—are not meant for God, but for the sake of our neighbors. They need our courage, goodness and so forth. The imaginary traveler and his/her marriage flourishes and grows because of the traveler’s virtue, even in the absence of the beloved.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks