Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 5
The First Sunday in Lent
“Man shall not live by bread alone.”
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the first Sunday in Lent. And like all Sundays, today is a Eucharist day. So, today’s readings need to be read through a Eucharistic lens. But what is the Eucharist? At a fundamental level, it is God’s reminder to us of Jesus’s Last Supper where he institutes the new covenant of his body and blood. But on another level, the Eucharist is also God’s question to us—we have been given Christ’s body and blood; how will we respond? Consider today’s Deuteronomy reading. Israel inherits the Promised Land; and their first response to God’s salvation is to offer back to God their first fruits, their first harvest. In essence they’re offering up to God their very lives; will they not starve if they give up their first harvest? But yet, they do give up their entire lives—and God blesses them. It’s as though they were saying, “we do not live by ‘bread’ alone, but by God’s grace.” Jesus too responds the same way to Satan when Satan tempts Jesus to indulge himself rather than offer up his life to his Father for our salvation. Both readings therefore teach us how we should respond to God at the Eucharist—by thankfully offering up ourselves, our souls, and bodies to be a reasonable, holy and living sacrifice to God. So, as you worship this morning, consider how you can offer your life up to God as you respond to his offer of salvation to you.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted of Satan: Make speed to help thy servants who are assaulted by manifold temptations; and, as thou knowest their several infirmities, let each one find thee mighty to save; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.