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A Slot Machine In The Kitchen

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You must not put the Lord your God to the test
Genesis 2:7-9;3:1-7; Psalms 51:3-6,12-13,17; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11

Sermon Week First Sunday of Lent Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 4:7

If you are the type who is tempted by every new gadget that comes down the pike, here's one you may not be familiar with. It's called the "Urban Cultivator," and is described as a miniature greenhouse on steroids. The unit, which resembles a wine refrigerator, fits under your kitchen counter and comes fully loaded with special plant lights, a timed watering system and a fan that maintains precise temperature and humidity control. The way it works is you place a tray of seeds in the front door, dial in the pre-programmed controls and then sit back and wait for the veggies and herbs to magically appear. According to the literature, it takes mere weeks from planting to table. Sounds tempting, doesn't it? The only drawback may be the price. At nearly three grand, that adds up to a lot of salads before you'll harvest your investment.

While we are on the subject of kitchen appliances, here's another surprising one that is no doubt an irresistible temptation for some. As the actor in a current-running television commercial exclaims, "It's amazing, I have a slot machine in my kitchen!" The ad is for an online gambling casino that can be played with real money in the comfort of one's kitchen -- or anywhere for that matter -- as long as you have your credit card, and a computer, smartphone or tablet handy. Tempting or not, in my kitchen, I'll take picking herbs over having my pocket picked, any day!

Lent, as today's Gospel Lesson suggests, is a time to think about temptation. It is a time for the Community of Christ to test its fidelity to God. In Biblical language, the word "temptation" signifies something much more profound than ordinary allurement to sinful acts of the flesh, material excess or destructive habits. We all agree that such temptation can hardly be called "seasonal." Instead, Lenten temptation cuts deeper. It calls us to deep decision-making. It calls for a commitment to a whole process of growth and development. It challenges us to rise above the ashes of our own destruction. It means inner [...]

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