Our theme for the first Sunday in Lent was temptation. To begin our service steward Bunty Hodgkins laid symbols representing bread and wine at the foot of our Lenten cross. She then welcomed Rev. Roger Baker who reminded us that we were starting out on a journey with Jesus towards the cross. After prayers of confession and a plea for forgiveness and guidance Richard Lucas read to us from Mark’s gospel chapter 1 describing the baptism and temptations of Jesus. He faced the tempter head on quoting Scripture and refusing the easy ways to gain fame. This was not the Kingdom he was sent by God to build.

We are frailer beings and the best way to deal with temptation is to avoid it. Sometimes it is hard to recognise but usually leads to greater sins and alienation from God. Tempting situations can be addictive. We should not assume we have the willpower to stop later. Initial pleasure descends into dependency and misery. We can’t rely on our own strength. We need to identify temptation, to listen to our consciences and distract ourselves.

Roger prayed that we be aware and be given the strength to conquer temptation. He then led us through an act of penitence ending with a prayer confirming our will to resist with God’s help.