So hold fast, children of the Father, and look with eagerness and reverence towards the Resurrection of Christ Jesus.
It only takes a moment to forget God. On one walk across the Quad in February when my feet scrunch the still frozen ground, I forget to bow my head as you walk and say, "Thank you." In one early morning class, I forget to be alive with His love, and I snap at my students, or I roll my eyes impatiently towards them. In one small moment, I deny who He is, what He has done - I am silent when a hard question rolls towards me or I choose to tell a loud story about how unfair He is, how difficult everything is.
This is the slow temptation: that we forget God. That we wrap ourselves up in our lives, in our own questions, in our own loves and losses, and we forget Him. We might not even notice it happening. Just a few days without praying. Just a few weeks without Eucharist. Just a few moments of scoffing at Him, at His message, at His love for the world.
But Lent is a moment when we turn our attention on temptation. We read about how Jesus was tempted in every way as we were, yet was without sin. And when Satan came to Jesus, and offered the kingdoms of the world, and challenged his power, and challenged his truthfulness - Jesus did not forget.
His words echo in my heart this morning, as I realize how long I have been this week in the slow temptation of forgetting God. Satan said, "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.’” (Matthew 4.8-10)
In the moments when I am tempted to forget Him, to tell my story without His presence, to take credit for the blessings and push off blame for the failings. When I want to forget what He says and who He is, because I know it asks a lot of me? I remember that Jesus' words were simple. Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
Do not serve the forgetfulness. Do not let the slow temptation overtake you. But hold fast, because the message we scoff at now is the message that brings us life. This Jesus of Nazareth, who calls fishermen, and heals the sick, who preaches the Kingdom and gives us living water - He does not forget us.
This week, as we begin our pilgrimage towards Easter, may we remember God. May we reply to the slow temptation with Jesus' words - Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
Pray with me, from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer:
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