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The First Sunday in Lent
On Ash Wednesday, this week we marked the beginning of the Christian season of lent, which has traditionally been celebrated by both Catholic and Protestants and the Eastern Orthodox traditions as well. Traditionally, lent marked the beginning of a season of patience marked by intense prayer and fasting. Christians who were inquirers in the faith were also prepared during this period through instructions leading to this baptism on Easter Sunday.

In scripture, Jesus temptations and triumph over Satan during his forty days of the testing in the wilderness gives the biblical basis of the lent practice of prayer and fasting. In His temptations and final triumph over Satan's temptations, the Lord gives us the pattern of our own approach to our faith when confronted by temptations. The word of God records that he was tempted in every way. But he did not sin!

The synoptic Gospels proclaim the certainty of Jesus temptations in the wilderness which exposed him to the three temptations that confronted him directly through the schemes and machination of Satan or the devil. Jesus confronted three major temptations.

1.The temptations of the flesh. The scriptures are clear that the devil confronted Jesus at the end of his
fast. At the point, he was weak and physically exhausted. His physical weakness put a demand on him to
satisfy his bodily urges and quest for food and water. In obedience to God, Jesus defied the demands of his
physical flesh.  Note that the devil knew the identity of Jesus that he was the son of God. However, he put his
identity in God to vindicate and disdain. Jesus did not see the need to prove who he was, because he was
indeed the son of God. He choose to obey God by putting it clear to Satan that his allegiance was to God
alone. He maintained his fidelity to the word of God.
2.The lure of power. The devil exposed the Lord to the lure of power. Again Jesus knew that all power and
authority belonged to him, he however could not afford to out a display of his power for the wrong reasons.
Instead he chose to obey and submit to the will of God. Again Jesus clearly knew his identity; hence no need
to prove it. He denounced the temptations of the lure of power for selfish gains.

3.The temptations of wealth and riches. Jesus was subjected to the lure of wealth by the devil represented
by material wealth. Again the Lord knew his identity, that in God, he possessed everything because he had
left heaven and chose to become poor in order to accomplish his mission. He could not allow his mission to be
scuttled by short sightedness. He knew the source of the real riches.

Jesus response to the devil through his temptations, resonate with over today's theme “faith targeted by luke-warmness”. Lukewarm is defined as indifferent, cool, apathetic, non-committal. All these words are characteristic of a situation or a person lacks clear demarcation of identity or commitment. Elijah in his prophetic ministry of proclamation of God's truth demanded on the people of God to make their position and identity clear. “For how long will you waiver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him but if Baal is God follow him”. Elijah presented a very firm and solid case between the people of God to make choices. He did not leave anything to chance. In his public demonstration of faith, Elijah proved in public that his faith in God was firm. The radical and bold steps that Elijah took demonstrated great manifestations of God's presence in ways that made a public demonstration that had never been witnessed in Israel. Finally, he ordered the destruction of all the Gods of Baal and restored the worship of Yahweh in Israel.

Finally, our theme today, and the spirit of lent invite us to take a stand and make a choice for our faith in a world confronted by luke-warmness. May God bless you as you make your lent journey to Easter.

Pastor's Weekly Corner

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Lavington United Church was founded in 1960 through a joint effort of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Methodist Church of Kenya (MCK) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) as a community church to minister to the Lavington community. <<Read full History>>

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