When Nothing is Something

"You must not put the Lord your God to the test"

Luke 4:12
Deuteronomy 26:4-10; Psalm 91:1-2,10-15; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13

Sermon Week/Year

First Sunday of Lent, C

There is a story about a man who asked, “What is the devil?” Before anyone could reply, the man supplied his answer. “The devil,” he said, “is not a huge monster with horns and a tail and a wicked look in his eye. No, the devil is inertia — doing nothing, following the lines of least resistance.”

The definition might not satisfy many theologians, but it makes the point: When Jesus asks us to turn our lives upside-down by following His example of radical love — and we respond by doing nothing — we’re in the devil’s corner.

An old farmer who was an outspoken unbeliever died, leaving an unusual Last Will and Testament in which he bequeathed his farm to the devil. The deceased’s next of kin contested the Will because she could not carry out the wish. After much legal research and judicial pondering, the Court decision read as follows:

We believe that every effort should be made to carry out the wishes…

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