What does temptation look like?
Creative Writing: What Does Temptation Look Like?

On Sunday, March 5, our Gospel reading narrated Jesus’ temptation in the desert. What would the temptation narrative look like in your life?

Mark 1:12-13 

Matthew 4:1-11 

Luke 4:1-13 

Both in worship and during education hour, we wrestled with this challenging story. Here are a few takeaways:

-    Mark mentions the temptation in only two sentences while Matthew and Luke give more detail. Some folks saw the passages as dealing with specific historical events of Jesus’ life; others felt they might be speaking in parable, challenging us to question what temptation looks like in our own lives. Many people felt there were be elements of both. What do you think?

-    There is no eyewitness named in the passage; so if anyone knew about Jesus’ experience in the desert, it’s because he was willing to talk about it. Are you willing to talk about your “desert experiences”?

-    People found many ways to interpret the specific temptations in Luke and Matthew. Is the temptation to turn stones into bread about being too focused on our physical needs? Or about using our power for selfish ends? Or both? Does the temptation to throw one’s self from a roof (on the promise that God will protect) demonstrate an obsession with our own physical safety? Or does it show a desire to “test” God’s presence before we will set out in mission? Or does it point to something else? How tempted are we to pledge our loyalty to the “demons” of this world or look for ways to shore up our own power rather than invest ourselves in building God’s kingdom? How else can you interpret the temptations?

The invitation this week is to write your own temptation narrative. Rewrite the story with yourself as the central character. What is it that threatens to lure you off track? Is there something other than God’s kingdom to which you pledge your allegiance at times? Your narrative is personal, but if you write a piece that you wish to share anonymously, reach out to Your narrative might be the continuing testament of God’s grace for someone else who is facing the same sort of struggle.

Blessings to you on your Lenten journey!