On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 42: He Became One of Us

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14 RSV)

 The Owner, the Creator, the Sustainer of all things and all people, God Himself became one of us. He became flesh and blood. He lived among us. How fully devoted is God to the welfare of His family. He knows the value of every person. How full of sadness He must be when He sees His own family members enchanted by the charms of the evil one.

It was only a short time following the beginning of His earthly mission that our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, the Word who became flesh, was Himself encountered by Satan. It seems that the second greatest satisfaction that Satan takes is charming the human race. Satan’s first satisfaction no doubt is trying to charm Christ Himself. Satan took that opportunity in the same way that he tries to charm the rest of us human beings.

Satan offered Christ bread during His fast. Satan demanded a miracle from Christ. Satan offered money, riches, power and fame in exchange for Christ’s worship of that Evil One. Christ, God become flesh, did not give in to any of the temptations.

What are our temptations? How does the Evil One come to us to try and place us under his charms? It is exactly the same way the Evil One tried to charm Christ. The temptation to break the fast is the very temptation to put our Orthodox practices into second place in our lives. The temptation to demand a miracle from Christ is so often that with which we ourselves tempt God. Ever prayed for a miracle? Will that miracle cover over whatever we are demanding of God for our own personal want? Finally, have we already exchanged our loyalty to Christ and His Church for money, riches, power or fame? If money, riches, power or fame determine the way we make decisions in life, then we have fallen to the Evil One.

The Word became flesh precisely because God values the life of a human being infinitely. The Word became flesh so that we human beings could see how a human life is to be lived according to the will of Him who created us. Such a life is formed by: 1) the discipline of the Church; 2) the full reliance on God’s will for our lives, mapped out for us in the Church; and 3) by the recognition that money, riches, power or fame are but fleeting reminders of the never-ending temptations of the Evil One.

This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.

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