Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Matthew 4:8-10

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan! for it is written, “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.” 

God at the center

The temptations of Jesus are not unusual but common. The most basic is this: to put something other than God at the center of your life.

This isn’t one big decision. It happens through a million seemingly insignificant decisions that allow something to occupy the space in your heart that rightly belongs to God, the Source of your life and breath.

It happens slowly as we allow other concerns to replace knowing and loving God at the center of our life. Work or success or our bank account or personal acclaim or looking good or the newest digital gadgets or social acceptance or momentary pleasures or sports or a friendship group or … something eases God to the perimeter of consciousness.

And worship … knowing and loving and serving God … becomes something you do instead of the being the center of the wheel around which everything else turns, the great truth that guides and gives direction everything you do.

Daniel Berrigan, a wiser and (slightly) more profane soul than mine, suggested it is easy to see what you worship. It isn’t where your mind is or where your heart is. It is where your ass is.

Where do you habitually go, what commitments define you and which ones are set aside to service others? That tells you what you worship—the thing on which you place highest worth.

Jesus leads our way. He dismisses this most basic temptation, telling us we are to worship God and serve only him. It sounds like a command, a law we must obey. But that is a surface understanding.

It is actually an invitation to know and turn to the Loving Mystery in everything you do and in every place you go. It is an invitation to enjoy the privilege of being with Jesus, loving him and all he loves.

It is an invitation to be what Love is, go where Love goes and do what Love does, a life with Love at the center.

Pr. David L. Miller

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