Lead Me Not into Temptation

(First Sunday in Lent, Year C; click here for the biblical texts)

Lead me not into temptation.
I go there all the time. Jesus
went too into the wilderness
forty days with only water  
and how much water do you find
in that part of the world
must have been dehydrated and
don’t think that was the only time
his throat and soul were dry.
He was full human as we say
surely he was tempted
to avoid horror of Calvary

but he did not and wilderness devil
failed to snare him. So what
does it mean to say no
to a tempting proposition– 
How about some nooky
your spouse won’t know,
I have a deal for you
no one will know but us,
So what if the ad is a lie they all
do it that’s politics.
Can it be as simple not easy as
putting God first– which means
to seek our personal wellness,
commonwealth’s righteousness
first–not to sell out for snake oil
no matter how pretty sexy
alluring fun profitable it seems?
Jesus did it and we can too
that’s what he says check John
chapter fourteen and know we can
avoid easy answers that hurt
others no walls against strangers
denying health insurance to poor
people or shoot first ask later.
We heal by believing
tell the truth even when it hurts
we can pass the test like

Abram going into Egypt,
the psalmist trusting the
God refuge a mighty fortress,
Paul walking the talk all the way.
When temptation beckons
leading us into wilderness
with ringed finger and charming smile
incantations of temporal pleasure
whose end is injuring loved ones
abusing our common humanity
denying our holy beauty,
go there but then
claim the shelter of the Most High and love the Lord
bring Holy One to the party and watch
how the game changes instantly,
led home whole loved and free.

©Robin Gorsline2016  lectionarypoetics.org
Please use the credit line above when publishing this poem in any form

writing+poetryAbout this poem . . . As I encounter Jesus in the wilderness, I think of my own each day, when I am tempted by something, someone, to act, think, speak in ways that are not whole. So often, it is a personal thing, what tempts me may not tempt you, but in another way it is all the same, pulling me, pulling you, out of our God selves. Loving Jesus, we face the truth of how often he shows us just the way to go, heading right into our wilderness and coming out the better for it.

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