Temptations to Complication

Year C – Lent 1 Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 91:1-2,9-16, Romans 19:8b-13 and Luke 4:1-13

Season 2, Episode 14

The first Sunday in Lent highlights the temptations of Christ. There are three specific temptations recorded. They represent all the areas we too are tempted: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Jesus responded by citing scripture. His resistance was powerfully simple considering temptations to complication.

The Apostle Paul outlines the temptations to complication for the Roman Church. Often we try to pursue issues related to God unrealistically. We dare to challenge God beyond our memory of what God has already done. Pursing theological issues beyond the reaches of memory and knowledge invites temptations to complication.

People of God’s covenant are reminded to remember. The Deuteronomic passage was given to the descendants of those departed Egypt. Those who were to inherit the promises were challenged to remember how God delivered their parents. Remembering what God has done in our own lives hinders our challenging God for what he has not done. Do not be tempted to complicate that relationship.

Psalm 91 is claimed by many saints even to this day. They claim refuge with the Divine. They seek protection from sickness, poverty, and shame. The promise, however, should not be read in isolation. It needs to be understood in the historic context to which it refers. Its promise is illustrated in the Deutronomic stories. Be wary of the Psalm’s application so that there are no temptations to complication.

All the passages this week are about remembering. But more than that, they encourage us to accept our past so that we can celebrate God’s deliverances. The Christian walk is not complicated. We have a simple faith re-enforced simply by scripture. Our strength is remembering and celebrating where God manifested God’s Self in our lives. Anything else invites temptations to complication.

Published by St Johns Papatoetoe

Presbyterian Church, Hunters Corner, Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand belonging to Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ).

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