First Sunday in Lent – Matthew 4:1-11
The Inuit people of North America have a legend. This legend describes how they killed the wolves that threatened their communities and their property. In rather graphic terms, they describe how they are able to bring down a wolf simply by coating several layers of frozen blood on a sharp knife sticking out of the frozen arctic plain (between the ice cap and the tree line). It's believed that the wolf picks up the scent and, after circling the knife warily, begins licking the frozen blood. And as the wolf continues to lick faster and faster, the desire for blood drives the wolf wild. The craving for more and more becomes so great that the wolf never notices the sting of the sharp blade on his tongue as the blood he's consuming gradually becomes his own. Morning finds the wolf lying dead in the snow.
It's a graphic image of what happens when temptation leads to giving in and sin claims a victim. It's a gruesome reminder about the power of temptation and how temptation lures each one of us just as the bloody knife attracts the unsuspecting wolf.
- Download and read the whole sermon as a pdf here