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Jane Bleasdale

Meditation: Feb. 23 Luke 4:5-8 (Jane Bleasdale)

This passage is a provocative one especially for the season of Lent - a time when we are asked to live simply, to make sacrifices and to examine who or what we 'worship in our lives' Read more

Meditation: Feb. 22 Luke 4:5-8 (Catherine Fruisen)

When I looked up my assigned passage for this Lenten meditation I had to laugh, because the ribbon in my bible happened to already be marking the page. (In a book of 1507 pages, what are the odds?) My 14-year-old son Gray and I have been reading Luke together, nice and slow, a single passage at bedtime every now and then. Most recently we read the beginning of chapter 4, including my assigned verses 5-8. I read Luke's rendition of the temptation of Jesus out loud and left the words hanging in the air, wishing I had done a little prep work, absolutely unsure what to say. In my defense, I was sleepy. Still though, how remarkable and absolutely wonderful of God to give me this do-over. Thank you, Rev. Bernie! Read more
Lent Graphic

Scripture for the First Week of Lent (Luke 4: 1- 4)

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. Read more
Mary Jameson

Meditation: Feb. 21 Luke 4:1-4 (Mary Jameson)

I had the pleasure of spending the past two years of my life in Uganda as a Peace Corps Volunteer. It was the most beautiful, and most difficult part of my life, and it is so challenging – because parts of it I feel I can share, and parts of it I just don’t know how to. My temptations there were different than they are here in the U.S.. At times immense, and other times so incredibly mundane. In the beginning I craved little, because in Peace Corps training days are structured, food is provided, and you have other Americans to share those first few months with. As time goes by though, you are alone in your village, you’ve met everyone, you’ve done a number of things for the first time, then these thoughts creep in… Read more
Richard Franco

Meditation: Feb. 20 Luke 4:1-4 (Richard Franco)

What is the wilderness? It’s easy for us to picture some deeply wooded forest, overgrown with vines and bushes, flooded with strange sounds of wild beasts. But this was not the wilderness that Jesus encountered. Read more
Lent Graphic

Meditation: Feb. 19 Psalm 23 (David Sard)

This psalm is a poem that resonates deeply within me. It is something I use to calm myself when I am anxious or scared.  I never went to Sunday School or had religious training, but somehow it seems like the voice of truth.  I was going to say the voice of God, but what do I know? I remember my physicist father saying that the King James Bible was great literature, which to me meant that I could read it without breaking the family commitment to the search for truth. Somehow even the rhythm and cadence of the words has a healing effect, although the modern version seems to me to strip away the poetry. This psalm reminds me that even in the turmoil of life, even in the valley of the shadow of death, there is comfort, if we are open to it. Read more
Emily Rigas

Meditation: Feb 18 Luke 4:1-4 (Emily Rigas)

Growing up, every Christmas my sister and I would join my mom and sometimes my grandmother in making Tsoureki (a Greek sweet bread - pronounced Chor-de-ki). It is actually a Greek Easter bread, but the tradition in our family was to make dozens and dozens of loaves every Christmas season and then give those loaves to everyone we knew - neighbors, fellow church members, friends, and family far and near. Read more
Jane Cates

Meditation: Feb. 17 Luke 4:1-4 (Jane Cates)

We have such warm thoughts of the first miracle of Jesus – turning the water into wine at the wedding at Cana. Read more
Julia Jones

Meditation: Feb. 16 Luke 4:1-4 (Julia Jones)

In Luke 4: 1-4 we see another astonishing reminder of Jesus’ strength of faith; 40 days of being tempted by the devil and nothing to eat…fed by God’s word, “not by bread alone".  Read more
Dan Helming

Meditation: Feb. 15 Luke 4:1-4 (Dan Helming)

Studying a bit of the background of Luke for this meditation, he was a contemporary and friend of Paul, in citizen standing at least.  I thought he was a doctor, but couldn't substantiate that.  He wrote his Gospel in 80-100 C.E.  so it was like us writing in the present day about WWII, though without all the literature, analysis and databases that bridge that gap for us. However, I can't decry that a good book about WWII couldn't be written in the present day. Luke used Mark's writings as a basis, then apparently added direct quotes of Jesus from another source, a sort of Bartlett's Quotations.  He might have used Mark in person, other writers and teachers as well.  Finally, he added his own interpretations: it is thought that Luke wanted his readers to gain a greater meaning from Christ's acts on earth, so he added interpretations that extrapolated the meaning of his acts on earth to what the meaning of the lesson to us should be. Mark was associated with Paul, in Paul's early career, then they had a falling out, and then in Paul's later life, they became full associates again.  Mark wrote relatively little on the Temptation of Christ.   Read more