Tempted in the Desert

South Nutfield Free Church does not exist as a physical building. Those of us who once attended there in 1950s-80s will be in their 40s – 100s. This blog is part of a personal pilgrimage, and not written on behalf of the whole church. Keep that in mind if you do read this and email me (at southnutfieldfreechurch@gmail.com) if you would like to also contribute. Two or three voices together would be better than one.

I am currently reading the Old and New Testament in tandem. I have just got to David being made King of Israel in 2 Samuel. I have this morning read Jesus tempted in the desert in Luke 4. The parallels with the Israelites 40 year journey through the wilderness are clear. Each temptation in Luke is answered by Jesus with a text from Deuteronomy and Israel’s wilderness experience. The ‘Thou shalt not live by bread alone’ verse came in the context of the Israelites being fed on Manna from Heaven.

O Thou Who Camest From Above

This hymn by Charles Wesley is often sung at Pentecost. It comes from an old testament passage in Leviticus 6:13, “The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.” (NIV)

This hymn also refers to John Wesley’s “Aldersgate experience” in 1738, when he received an experience of being born again and his heart being warmed by the fire of the Holy Spirit. The celestial fire came from above and kindled a flame in the “altar of my heart.”

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness

The seventh beatitude in Matthew is

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
           for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.