Tomorrow we begin where choices must be made.
Christmas becomes an opportune time.
Reflecting on the past when we attended religious classes usually taught by nuns. Our eagerness to learn about Jesus and the many miracles he performed became exciting enough to eventually receive our first reconciliation followed by Holy Communion. These were events that introduced us to God the Father, his Son Jesus, and the mysterious third person of the Holy Trinity; the Holy Spirit.
As we grew older and eventually were confirmed learning we would be known as soldiers for Christ. For most young persons the term was something that had reason to tuck away somewhere in our minds. But, what dimension it had of a serious manner was hard to ascertain at that age. Adolescence was now a new venture and the remnants of these years would challenge even the most ardent student of right and wrong.
Bad or wrong kids we were not. However, there were some activities that just enticed our curiosity and the ultimate results convicted us as we fell away from right and wrong. This scenario hasn’t changed for any of us, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years later. We can thank our first parents who set the stage for our being tempted and easily transcending into sin.
One definite reality we live with; temptation is not a sin. Jesus was tempted and the only difference is he did not succumb to the challenges of the devil. It certainly is not easy to fight against whatever it is that tempts any of us. Temptations come to us using the weakest fibers of our individual makeup we have. No two people are affected in the same manner to the identical temptations and therefore each one must adhere to their own individual weakness in ways that are only practical to each one.
Remember that even as Paul asked for the thorns in the flesh be removed Jesus’ response was; “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12: 9).
Christmas is upon us and the results of following the King of Kings as he is born to us presents the opportunity to face temptations as Jesus did and rely on the word of God as he proclaimed; “The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.” (Mt. 4: 10).
Ralph B. Hathaway, Temptations 2022