Here’s the wisdom for this week.
4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,
4:2 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.
4:3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
4:4 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.'”
4:5 Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world.
4:6 And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please.
4:7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”
4:8 Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.'”
4:9 Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here,
4:10 for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’
4:11 and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'”
4:12 Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”
4:13 When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.
I bring a desire to identify the core of my being with the radiant Love who, according to scripture, shapes each of us into a unique image of itself. I also bring a desire to live out of that Love in my daily life. Finally, I bring a trust, or at least a hope, that by suspending attachment to the conditioned concepts and images of my conceptual mind I will be left more vulnerable to the grace at hand that so exceeds what my thinking mind can hold. I will be more available to the movements of the Holy Spirit that animate what is most vital in the living moment. The awareness of deep Reality from my deep soul-self will be awakened.
Source: Embracing the Call to Spiritual Depth
The church has a long history of serving people at the margins…. At the same time, however, an older problem has been intensified. The modern self’s blindness to the other as part of the self has led to an increasing perception of charity as a one-way street, something that originates with the charitable self and leads to handouts for those in need…. Fresh encounters with people on the underside of history introduce a critical change. In solidarity with the marginalized, the modern one-way street gradually begins to bear traffic in both directions.
Source: Remember the Poor
When Cells Differentiate
“And just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.” – Genesis 9:3
If you watch a time lapse video of a sunflower, you can watch months of growth in just a few moments. It’s beautiful and poignant, to see the tiny seeds take shape, in fast forward.
You see the seed, the tiny leaves, then stalks, the bigger leaves, more leaves from leaves, and eventually a flower emerges, with petals. The petals change color from green to the bright yellow that give the flower its name. Instant sunflower!
But consider this amazing fact about the sunflower. At the beginning, all the cells are the same. Later, they grow into different kinds of cells. Some become cells that will become leaves. Others will bring the yellow to the petals. Others will shape the strong stalk. But creation begins with a bunch of identical cells.
Cells differentiate, just like people do. At the beginning, we’re a bunch of identical cells that differentiate to become different parts of the human body. But along the way, people differentiate. We grow up to look different, to do different things. We might seem like we have nothing to do with each other.
But God’s creation story is like time lapse photography. When you watch the sunflower grow it becomes obvious that no piece is more important than any other. Particularly when the flower dies, only to return to seed and live again.
Human beings all begin alike, as children of God. We differentiate, but the image of God is imprinted upon each cell.
From the Book: Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
How surely gravity’s law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the strongest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.
each stone, blossom, child –
is held in place.
Only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we belong to
for some empty freedom.
If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.
Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.
So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things,
because they are in God’s heart;
they have never left him.
This is what the things teach us:
patiently trusting our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.
-Rainer Maria Rilke