image by Christian Rohlfs, 1914, via Wikimedia Commons
You, Lord Jesus, knew great power,
to heal, to transform,
to proclaim the reign of God.
So you met with great temptations.
The wrong way, glittering and possible, was open;
you could rule if you chose,
in majesty and wonder,
more victorious than Alexander,
more imperial than Caesar.
But you said No,
simply, decisively, for ever, for us.
We pray for the Church, tempted like its Head.
When the Church seeks political power,
Jesus, stay with us.
When the Church longs to become wealthy,
Jesus, speak to us.
When the Church strives to impress with splendor,
Jesus, give us simplicity.
When the Church wanders from the way of sacrifice,
Jesus, hold us.
When the Church listens to the call for cheap grace,
Jesus, keep us always in your way.
Holy Spirit of God, enable us to respond to temptation
with the strength of your Word within us,
so that we may hold firm to our calling
and take your better way in faithfulness.
Bernard Thorogood, English minister in the United Reformed Church
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’