Before the people of Israel ended their 40 years of wilderness wandering Moses addressed them on the east side of the Jordan River. They were about to enter the Promised Land, a land flowing with milk & honey. Yet, even across the Jordan River, in the Promised Land, their faith would be challenged. They would be tempted to bow down to other Gods and to serve them. Moses encouraged them always to worship the God that lead them out of slavery in Egypt, that lead them for 40 years in the wilderness and that would lead them across the river.

It was at that same Jordan River that Jesus chose to be baptized at the start of his public ministry, we think at age 30. As he returned the steps of his ancestors, moving from the east bank to the west bank, he was anointed by the Holy Spirit that descended like a dove. Thenm he, too, was tempted. How was he to conduct his ministry? Was he to give people what they wanted? Was he to use his power to compell faith? Was he to dazzle people with his glory? He was tempted to separate himself from God’s will, God’s way.

We, too, have been baptized into the way of Jesus. Though we have not crossed the Jordan River from east to west, we, too, have seen and will be tempted time and time again to follow other Gods, to follow other paths. To be tempted is part of our journey of faith. It is almost as if we have a target on our back as we live our faith. Yet we never walk alone! Jesus is our companion and our guide through deserts, through the wilderness, cross many rivers, through this life and into the life to come.

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