In the Lectionary

March 5, First Sunday in Lent

Matthew 4:1–11

I remember the first time I stumbled across the story of Jesus being tempted by the devil. I was in my early twenties, when I was not yet a Christian but I was Christian-curious. I hadn’t been raised by or among Christians, but I had recently discovered religion as a Unitarian Universalist. Now that I understood a little bit about faith, I wondered about Christianity.

I wanted to understand how Christians made sense of their strange doctrines. The creator of the universe was born as a human, by a virgin? That human was killed but did not stay dead? These statements baffled me, yet appeared to be acceptable to a majority of the world’s population. Were they using some system of internal logic I could comprehend, even if I might not agree?

I hadn’t read the Bible much at all. But I had discovered Weavings, a magazine published by Upper Room Ministries. I didn’t know much about Christianity, but I knew something about good writing and good illustrations. Weavings had both. It was created by those mysterious beings, Christians. I realized that reading it might help me in my quest to understand them. So it was that I found myself reading an essay by Wendy Wright on temptation.