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The Passionate Jesus

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Topic Features About Temptation

The Rev. Maxwell Grant

Maxwell Grant: "Precarious Wisdom"

1 Kings 2:10-12; 3:3-14

13th Sunday after Pentecost - Year B

August 19, 2018

The Rev. Maxwell Grant (UCC)


Let me begin by admitting that it's a little bit of a tall order for a preacher to try saying something new about "wisdom."

There's a certain school of thought that says, if it's new, well then by definition, it can't be wisdom. Wisdom is timeless - the very opposite of new. It isn't simply that wisdom "offers perspective," wisdom is perspective. It's an animating power in its own right. It's not a particular set of facts - if you just learn this or that, well then there you go: you've got wisdom. Wisdom is more like a way of knowing.

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The Rev. Dr. Christopher Girata

The Good Choice

Luke 4:1-13

First Sunday in Lent - Year C

February 14, 2016

The Rev. Dr. Christopher Girata (TEC)


Today's gospel lesson is one that many of us know in one form or another. This story of temptation in the wilderness is the middle of a three-part series of events that sets up Jesus's public ministry. These events ultimately led to Jesus answering his call and fulfilling his mission. We may be tempted to skip over this series of events and get to the ministry because we have inherited an understanding of Jesus, a theology of Jesus that has been developed over hundreds and hundreds of years, and so we know what happens, and we want to get to the point. But this series is incredibly important to all of us because this sequence of events shaped Jesus as a person. Jesus was called by the Spirit in baptism, tempted away from God in the wilderness, and finally chose to remain faithful to his mission and ministry. This series of steps can give us all a glimpse into how we, too, can answer the call God puts inside each one of us.

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Other Recent Content About Temptation

The Rev. Brian L. Cole Transcript

December 14, 2014

I Am Not the Messiah

The Rev. Brian Cole (TEC)

In his sermon for the 3rd Sunday of Advent, the Rev. Brian Cole presents the Gospel of John's account of John the Baptist, who clearly knew who he was--he saw himself in the story of God's love. John invites us to consider how we too can say 'no' to the false selves and roles we take on, and 'yes' to our true calling.
The Rev. Dr. Wiley Stephens Transcript

March 09, 2014

Who Is in Charge?

The Rev. Dr. Wiley Stephens (UMC)

In his sermon for the 1st Sunday in Lent, Dr. Wiley Stephens compares the stories of Adam and Eve and Jesus in the wilderness, encouraging us to let God be in charge of our lives in the face of temptation.
The Rev. Brian Erickson Transcript

February 17, 2013

Dress Rehearsal in the Desert

The Rev. Brian Erickson (UMC)

In his sermon for the first Sunday in Lent, the Rev. Brian Erickson guides us into the wilderness, where we can learn from Jesus about how to deal with our own temptations.
The Rev. John Gunn

Man's Will

The Rev. John Gunn (other)

In this episode of Be Still and Know, The Rev. John R. Gunn states, "Man meets temptations and difficulties of every sort, but with God's power and his own will to follow God, man can overcome each difficulty. Hate becomes love, weakness turns to strength, sin to holiness and the mystery of death into the mystery of eternal life."

The Rev. John Gunn

Unsullied Wings

The Rev. John Gunn (other)

A white bird with unsullied wings. The Rev. John R. Gunn writes, "That is what your soul is like in the innocency of youth." in this episode of Be Still and Know about living pure and clean lives.

The Rev. John Gunn

Knowing the Safe Path

The Rev. John Gunn (other)

In this episode of Be Still and Know on the topic of temptation, The Rev. John R. Gunn writes, "There is an ignorance which is desirable - the ignorance of vice. We do not need to know the ways of vice in order to avoid them. All we need is to know the safe path and to keep to it."

The Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander Transcript

March 13, 2011

Choose Life!

The Rt. Rev. J. Neil Alexander (TEC)

As we enter the season of Lent, Episcopal Bishop J. Neil Alexander takes us back to the desert, where Jesus was tempted to make some disastrous choices... but stood firm.
The Rev. John Gunn

Esau's Stupid Blunder

The Rev. John Gunn (other)

In this episode of Be Still and Know on Esau, The Rev. John Gunn writes, "He had one weakness which spoiled his whole life. He was ready at any time to barter away everything he had to gratify the appetite of the moment. He could not pass up a present pleasure for the sake of a future good."