A wee foresight into possible themes and directions for Sunday coming up. That's all. Nothing more than a step for a hint.
Sunday 1st March
There is perhaps the needs of a wee history of the devil at this point just as we begin lent, so we don’t go around blaming someone else for our wrongs, suggesting the devil made me do it…
The Old Testament service sup the devil as does the New Testament, but by the time the devil reaches the gospels he’s had a few make-overs.
He started out as one of God’s employees, the tester of God’s creation. His job was to uncover the weaknesses in humanity in order to preserve God's integrity. But his role grows and becomes more interfering and gets involved in the course of history.
Eventually the Devil ends up on the wrong side of God’s employment and has an independent role all to himself. The Persians helped with this move out of God’s household. They saw the world more one things or the other, a cosmic battle between good or evil while the Hebrew system was a little more grey and fluid.
Anyway the devil becomes quite a figure whose infamy grows in the telling. All sorts of stories and legends and images become his own. He attracts them from all sorts of cultures.
And so, by the time we have the story of Jesus in the wilderness being tempted, it is a bit of a slowdown.
Only the devil loses this one. He’s been really successful up to now. Hugely so. But something stops him in his tracts and he’s off licking his wounds. I wonder what kind of conversation he has in the mirror that night.
Now that would make an interesting sermon…