Lesson for Chapel Services on Wednesday, February 21, 2017
Mark1: 9-13 – The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF MARK
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts and the angels waited on him.
THE WORD OF THE LORD
and the People respond, “Thanks be to God.”
Every child yearns for affirmation from parents. On the day he was baptized by John, a fully human Jesus must have been very happy with the message he received from God. What child doesn’t want to hear that he is loved by his father?
My father delivered a similar message to me when I was ready to head off for college at UNC. He told me he was pleased with me and that he loved me. But he mainly went on about the terrible temptations I was about to face at University. Daddy was the first person to ever explain to me what to do when faced with temptation: turn away. He warned me that my ”willpower” would never be enough. I shall never forget that as a father, he was willing to send me on to a place he knew to be filled with temptation because he thought I was ready. Or as ready as I would ever be!
Dear God, show us that if we walk in your light, you will provide a way to escape temptation. Teach us to turn away from all that keeps us from walking with you.