CHRIST IN THE WILDERNESS
The first event recorded in our Lord's history, after His baptism, is His temptation by the devil. From a season of honour and glory He passed immediately to a season of conflict and suffering. First came the testimony of God the Father, ‘Thou art My beloved Son.' Then came the sneering suggestion of Satan, ‘If Thou be the Son of God.' The portion of Christ will often prove the portion of Christians. From great privilege to great trial there will often be but a step.
Let us first mark in this passage, the power and unwearied malice of the devil.
That old serpent who tempted Adam to sin in Paradise , was not afraid to assault the second Adam, the Son of God. Whether he understood that Jesus was ‘God manifest in the flesh' may perhaps be doubted. But that he saw in Jesus One who had come into the world to overthrow his kingdom, is clear and plain. He had seen what happened at our Lord's baptism. He had heard the marvelous words from heaven. He felt that the great Friend of man was come, and that his own dominion was in peril. The Redeemer had come. The prison door was about to be thrown open. The lawful captives were about to be set free. All this, we need not doubt, Satan saw, and resolved to fight for his own. The prince of this world would not give way to the Prince of peace without a mighty struggle. He had overcome the first Adam in the garden of Eden; why should he not overcome the second Adam in the wilderness? He had spoiled man once of Paradise; why should he not spoil him of the kingdom of God.
Let it never surprise us, if we are tempted by the devil. Let us rather expect it, as a matter of course, if we are living members of Christ. The Master's lot will be the lot of His disciples. That mighty spirit who did not fear to attack Jesus Himself, is still going about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. That murderer and liar who vexed Job, and overthrew David and Peter, still lives, and is not yet bound. If he cannot rob us of heaven, he will at any rate make our journey thither painful. If he cannot destroy our souls, he will at least bruise our heels. Let us beware of despising him, or thinking lightly of his power. Let us rather put on the whole armour of God, and cry to the strong for strength. ‘Resist the devil and he will flee from you.' (James 4:7)
Let us mark secondly, our Lord Jesus Christ's ability to sympathize with those that are tempted. This is a truth that stands our prominently in this passage. Jesus has been really and literally tempted Himself.
It was meet that He who came ‘to destroy the works of the devil,' should begin His own work by a special conflict with Satan. It was meet that the great Shepherd and bishop of souls should be fitted for His earthly ministry by strong temptation, as well as by the Word of God and prayer. But above all, it was meet that the great High Priest and advocate of sinners should be one who has had personal experience of conflict, and has known what it is to be in the fire. And this was the case with Jesus. It is written that he ‘suffered being tempted.' How much he suffered, we cannot tell. But that his pure and spotless nature did suffer intensely, we may be sure.
Let all true Christians take comfort in the thought that they have a Friend in heaven, who can be touched with the feeling of their infirmities. When they pour our their hearts before the throne of grace, and groan under the burden that daily harasses them, there is One making intercession who knows their sorrows. Let us take courage. The Lord Jesus is not an ‘austere man.' He knows what we mean when we complain of temptation, and is both able and willing to give us help.
IN MEMORIAM: The Right Rev. George B. Fincke
November 21, 1953 – December 3, 2016
Bishop George Fincke passed away quietly while in a hospital in Prescott , Arizona . His wife Ann was by his side. The bishop was making a slow recovery from a recent illness and was looking forward to a four hour pass from the hospital to attend church on Sunday at All Saints' Church, Prescott, where he was the Rector.
The Requiem Eucharist for Bishop Fincke was celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, 1:00 p.m. at All Saints' Church. Interment followed immediately in the parish's columbarium. The Most Rev. Walter H. Grundouf, Presiding Bishop of the APA presided. Bishop Fincke had for several years served as an Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Mid-America.
The Annual Parish Meeting was Sunday, January 29, 2017.
There was a Pot Luck Meal in the Parish Hall prior to the meeting. We thank those who brought such delicious dishes. At the meeting committee and department reports were read, discussed and approved. Officers for 2017 were also elected. The Vestry for this year is: Senior Warden Bill Nash, Junior Warden George Yapp, Vestrymen: Will Garrison, Yemi Onayemi, Frank Sellers, Beth Garrison, Edwina Greco, Elaine Spencer, Michael Agunloye. The Rector serves as Chairman. We thank all of you who attended and participated in the meeting.
WOMEN'S GUILD BAKE SALE
February 12, 2017 in the Parish Hall following service
Please price your items & bake lots of goodies to sell for Women's Guild Mission Outreach!
This Annual “Fun” Fundraiser for the Youth is February 17-18 beginning on Friday the 17th at 8:00 p.m. and ending Sat. morning at 8:00 a.m. Rocking chairs are needed in the Parish Hall by the 17th for the event. Please let Will Garrison know by Sunday, Feb. 12th, if you have a rocking chair they can borrow that needs picked up that week!
Thank you to those who made pledges already.
If you haven't made a pledge yet for our Youth, please do so
Pledge Forms are in the Narthex.
Our Youth include: Toluwa Balogun, Stella Levi, Uchenna Mochu,
NEW 2nd SUNDAY 2017 COFFEE HOUR SIGN-UP SHEET
THE ALMS BOX on the wall in the Narthex is in need of contributions to help those in need. Please contribute a monetary gift TODAY! Please give generously!
LENT begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1, 2017. On Wednesday evenings we will gather in the Parish Hall at 6;30 p.m. for a Soup Supper. The Lenten Service will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the chapel. There is a sign-up sheet in the narthex for those volunteering to prepare soup, or bring salad or bread.
MISSIONARIES THIS MONTH
Please be in prayer for Rev. Rinzi Lama, President of ACNA in Napel, & for the Missionaries and Churches under him there.