Dancing With the Dark Side
March 6
"When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him (Jesus) until an opportune time." This is how the reading for Sunday's sermon ends. It comes at the conclusion of Jesus' 40 days in the wilderness and after the three temptations that come from the devil. And it ends in a very unsettling way, not much different from a suspense movie, where we are left waiting and wondering when the villain will return. Has much changed in 2000 years?

Not everyone likes to talk about the devil and I don't blame them, it’s certainly an uncomfortable topic. But, if we don't talk about it, how will we ever know how to engage it? My worry right now is how comfortable we are with evil. We let the TV blare darkness at us 24 hours a day, we subscribe to and ingest negativity all day long, and after a while it has an impact on our souls. After a while, the darkness can begin to take over.

It's no surprise that we are seeing a rise in hate, bigotry, and racially charged violence, because we have become complacent with evil. We are so less prone to call out evil and say that hate has no place here. We have been dancing with the dark side for far too long and it is killing us. So, we need to take a lesson from Jesus.  

After every temptation Jesus doesn't try to outwit the devil or rely on his own abilities. Instead, after every temptation he quotes the Old Testament. He isn't relying on himself, he's relying on those who have lived and walked this road years before him. Thankfully we have that same support system that Jesus could fall back on. We have God who is always with us and we have a community of faith so that when we encounter darkness WHEN it returns "at an opportune time", we don't face the devil alone, but we face the devil armed with the power of God and the community of saints.  

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris 

Last Published: March 6, 2019 12:31 PM